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“Only Baseball Is My Love. I Will Rise Again”

Posted December. 19, 2002 22:54,   


After all, the cobbler should stick to his last. Break in marital life for Jo Sung-min (29) would be big pain for him beyond explanation. However, if it becomes an opportunity to start ‘the second life of baseball’, the pain can be a new starting point.

Though his body was too exhausted due to phones by reporters, which continued till midnight and due to mental collapse, Jo Sung-min looked serene on 19th morning. It is because he can retrieve passion of baseball that he tried to avoid, despite break in marital life.

He read newspaper article regarding him carefully after getting up early and commented, saying, “Report that I will let Choi Jin-sil bring up my son Hwan-hee is wrong. I will never give up Hwan-hee” and suddenly he spat out his dream of coming back to baseball.

“I will forget everything and go to U.S next month. I am planning to train my body while treating elbow and knee. Fortunately, I am told that I don’t need to be operated there.”

Plan that Jo Sung-min stated was to challenge major league. For this, he asked help from Mr. Lee Chi-hun who has a close relationship with him and an agent of Choi Hee-sub (Chicago cubs).

“Money doesn’t matter anymore. Im Chang-yong is the player who belongs to Samsung but his huge transfer amount became an obstacle, however, I, as freelance player, has nothing to do with contract money, as I don’t receive even single penny.”

Jo Sung-min expressed his opinion strongly that if joining major league is not easy, he will join Korean pro baseball for his dream.

He was spotlighted as the best bowler when he was in Koryo university, surpassing those who entered university same year in 1992, such as Lee Sun-dong (Hyundai) from Yonsei univ, Park Chan-ho (Texas rangers) from Hanyang univ, Shon Gyeong-soo (former Doosan) from Kyunghee univ. He was an up-coming player who joined Japan’s best team Yomiuri Giants, receiving contract money 150 million yen (up to 15 billion won) 1996. However, terrible successive injury was waiting for him. Jo Sung-min retired last August before one year of contract period after making a comeback from operation.

Jo Sung-min returned to Korea and became a businessman and opened bakery shop so called C&C Company near Gangnam station and in the basement of Mokdong Hyundai shopping mall, after opening his office at Dogok-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. However, as if he couldn’t abandon his dream of baseball, he decorated office wall as big panel of his face in Yomiuri time and his glove.

Hwan-Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com