‘Chosun’s 4th hitter’ was the best even at the last moment.
For Lee Dae-ho (40), 2022 was his last year as a player. After the 2020 season, he signed a free agent contract with the Lotte Giants for a total of 2.6 billion won over two years, and Lee Dae-ho declared that he would retire afterwards.
Although he declared his last as a player, Lee Dae-ho still performed at the top level. He recorded a batting average of 3.3, 23 home runs and 101 RBIs in 142 games, leaving his name at the top of various figures such as fourth in batting average, tied for fifth in home runs, and fourth in hits (179).
He received the Golden Glove in the designated hitter category in 2022, and even won the Ilgu Grand Prize, the best player selected by the Ilgu Association, an OB meeting.
Lee Dae-ho, who retired after writing a bold history of Korean professional baseball for 21 years, shed tears at his last awards ceremony, the Golden Glove. A lot of thoughts went through his family, colleagues, team, etc.
Lee Dae-ho recalled, “I wanted to say something about my grandmother, but I held back because I thought I would shed more tears. I think you’re watching from heaven. You’ll be happy. You really helped me a lot.” Lee Dae-ho was raised by his paternal grandmother during his childhood.
Lee Dae-ho continued, “When I went to Japan and the United States, everyone approved of it, and it seems that my father-in-law and mother-in-law worked harder so that I could only play baseball. You raised me. I am always grateful.”
Although he shed tears at the Golden Globe Awards ceremony, Lee Dae-ho said, “I was really strong at the baseball field. I was a scary senior to my juniors. I really tried not to cry, but I don’t know why I’m crying like this.” I’m thinking about it,” he laughed.
‘Scary senior’ Lee Dae-ho maintained his pride until the end without losing his skills. Lee Dae-ho said, “Playing baseball when you’re old is fighting against prejudice.” “he said. 안전놀이터
Lee Dae-ho continued, “I think I set a good example for my juniors. I really wanted to show that I can do well even at 40. To be honest, I lost my stamina a little at the end, but I gained strength because so many fans came and cheered me on. I whipped harder for the sake of it. I think that’s why I got good results.”
Retiring at the top was not an easy decision. Lee Dae-ho said, “Honestly, I want to do more. However, I have a great desire to hand over my seat for good juniors and hope that the players do well. What would a baseball player do other than baseball? My favorite thing was baseball, and I was the happiest. It’s not easy to leave because I’m doing well and I like it. But it’s something I can’t do as I think. It’s nice to step back in good shape after announcing my retirement.”
Everything was fine, but there was one thing that bothered me. That he had to leave Lotte. And that I didn’t win.
Lee Dae-ho said, “To be honest, there are not many Lotte fans coming to the baseball field right now. I hope our players will work hard and call our Lotte fans who have been hiding all over the country to the baseball field again.” I hope that many fans will come and make Korean baseball fun.”