The year-end baseball awards ceremony adds a new twist with the winners’ verbal contests.

At the 2023 DAILYSPORT-ZOA Pharmaceutical Baseball Awards ceremony held at Eliana Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul on Thursday, the players who received awards drew applause with their witty words.

Yoon Young-chul, a left-handed pitcher for the KIA Tigers who received the JoyByTone-Award, said, “I didn’t believe in myself either, but coach (Kim Jong-kook) believed in me, so I received the award.” He vowed to live up to expectations next year.

Park Young-hyun, who won the Skill Development Award and will challenge to become KT WIZ’s new closer next year due to Kim Jae-yoon’s transfer to the Samsung Lions, said, “I have the biggest opportunity. I have to look good to the coach,” he said to KT manager Lee Kang-cheol, “Please keep an eye on me. I will do my best,” and strongly appealed for the closing position.

Defensive award winner Yang Yang-ji (Doosan Bears) and comeback hero Son As-seop (NC Dinos) expressed their ambitions for next year, saying they would like to help their managers Lee Seung-yeop and Kang Myung-ho win the manager’s award (for winning the Korean Series).

“I congratulate LG on winning this year’s championship, but I’m burned because they’re next door,” Yang said, adding, “I’ll do my best to unite the Doosan hull and get Lee Seung-yeop the manager’s award.”

“Next year’s goal is definitely the Korean Series championship ring,” said Son Ah-seop, adding, “I will inspire the team to fight so that manager Kang Myung-ho can win the manager’s award next year.”

Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha), a second-year pro who beat out rookie Yoon Young-chul this year to win the KBO League Rookie of the Year and the media’s Rookie of the Year award, first greeted Yoon with “thank you and sorry” and then said, “I won the Rookie of the Year award this year, but next year I will win the individual title so that I can win the award.”

Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates), who received a joint special award for raising the profile of Koreans in Major League Baseball, openly asked Kim Ha-sung (San Diego Padres) what his secret to survival was.

“I stuck to it with my Korean grit,” Kim said, “and when I batted against Ji-Hwan (in the big leagues), I felt he was too good. I hope Ji-hwan can win the stolen base title next year,” he replied.

“I’m not the best hitter, but I’m honored and grateful that you called me that,” said Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha), who received the best hitter award. “My dream was to be a home run hitter, but I worked hard, so it felt good to be the home run king. I don’t think the word ‘burden’ suits me anymore,” he said confidently.

He added, “My next dream is to become a batting champion. (Son) Asub, you should be a little nervous.” He also encouraged his competitors. 파워볼

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