The World Baseball Classic (WBC), which will be held in March, will feature the first non-Korean national baseball team player. This is St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Thomas Suspension Edmon (28). On the 14th (Korean time), we met Edmund, who is about to compete in the WBC, at the St. Louis camp, Jupiter Rogerdine Stadium in Florida, USA.
In the WBC, even non-national players can participate depending on the lineage and place of birth of their parents or grandparents. Korea had never picked a player of Korean descent until the 4th tournament in 2017. However, this time, several players were contacted to form the best team, and Edmund, whose mother is Korean, was included in the 30-man roster. Edmund said, “It is an honor to become the first non-Korean player to represent Korea.”
Edman was born to a second-generation Korean immigrant mother, Kwak Kyung-ah, and an American father, John Edman. Edman, who started playing baseball with his older brother under the influence of his father, a former baseball coach, was drafted in the 6th round by the St. Louis Tigers in 2016 and debuted in the big leagues in 2019. In 2021, he solidified his position as a major leaguer by winning the Gold Glove (National League second baseman) given to the best defender. He is expected to form a keystone combination with Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) in the WBC.
“I’m gearing up for the season as usual,” Edman said. “I usually start hitting and throwing practice in November, then build up my power and speed. I’ve also started to hit the plate recently. I’ll be ready for the WBC. Pretty hectic spring training. It will be, but I’m looking forward to the WBC a lot.”
Edman was initially expected to join his team training before the warm-up match in Japan right before the tournament. However, at a slightly earlier point he headed towards joining in Korea. It is the first time in his life that he is visiting his mother’s country. Edman laughed, saying, “Thanks to the interest of Korean fans, I get courage. My grandmother who lives in LA saw a Korean newspaper and explained that there were many articles about me. I also gained a lot of Korean social media followers.”
I also meet an old colleague from the Korean national team. This is Kim Gwang-hyun, whom I played with in St. Louis for two years. He said, “I’m excited to see KK (Kwang-Hyun Kim) again. He was a good teammate. I’ve talked to Ha-Sung Kim (San Diego) a few times. I know Kim Hyun-soo, who played for Baltimore. I also heard the news about it. I’m excited to be able to become a team.”
Edmon is a utility player. In addition to being an infielder, he also plays as an outfielder, and has quick feet and excellent baseball sense. “I can contribute to the team in many ways,” he said.
Korea faces Japan in the group stage. Coincidentally, Japan also selected St. Louis outfielder Lars Taylor-Tatsuji Nuuba. Nutba was born to a Japanese mother and a Dutch-American father of mixed British and German ancestry. His nationality is currently American. 바카라
The two are already engaged in a fierce battle of nerves. Colleagues also enjoy watching them. Pitcher Adam Wainwright, who is representing the United States, said, “They are players who can help the Korean and Japanese national teams. It would have been nice to play together for the U.S. national team. I want to face them and it feels good to think about defeating them. We won the gold medal. daughter,” he laughed.
Third baseman Aaron Arenado said, “Playing for your country is always meaningful. It gives you pride. Playing in the major leagues is special, but playing for the national team is different. Edmund is a great player. It’s amazing to see him play. It will be a great help to the Korean national team.”
Nutba joked to the Korean reporters, “I’m sorry I came all this way from Korea. We will beat Korea.” After joking, “St. Louis and the Chicago Cubs are strong rivals. Munn goes from being a teammate to an enemy. It will be fun,” he laughed.
Edmund is also determined not to lose. He said, “Nutba and I are exchanging trash talk (words that provoke the opponent) to win each other. He showed his determination to win.
Picking Shohei Ohtani as the player he is most wary of, Edman said, “He is the best player in MLB. I am excited to see him play in Tokyo, Japan, his home country. He continued, “Korea has built a good team. We are very confident. We can beat the US as well. I hope we can play against the US.”
Edmund gave up the number 19 he used in his team to Woo-seok Ko and decided to wear the number 11. “To be honest, I don’t really care about the number,” Edman said. I also wrote it in the minor leagues,” he said.
Edmund speaks very little Korean. However, he greeted Koreans with “Hello”, and he is currently learning Korean through an application. He even asked Korean reporters what Korean they needed. He presented Korean fans with the phrase ‘Hyeonsu Fighting!’ with his name on it.