Kim Ra-kyung, who chose to go to Japan to become a professional baseball player beyond her hobby
Kim Ra-kyung, 22, has set several “first” milestones in Korean women’s baseball. He started playing Little Baseball when he was in the sixth grade of elementary school. In her third year of junior high school, she hit a home run in an official game, which remains the first record for a Little Baseball female player. She set the youngest record for the women’s national baseball team at the 2015 LG Cup International Women’s Baseball Tournament (then in the third grade of middle school) and has been playing as a leading player for the national team.
However, there was no way for the “women’s baseball ace” to go in Korea. At least, thanks to the creation of the Special Act on Kim Ra-kyung (extending the age limit of Little Baseball from 1st grade to 3rd grade in middle school only for female players), I was able to play a little more. Kim Ra-kyung said, “At that time, the Little Baseball Federation made a big decision,” but added, “There is no facility for female players to learn systematically after Little Baseball.” The only way is to join the national team or play in the social league. The national team’s two-day camp on the weekend was all they could do,” he said.
At the end of the road, Kim Ra-kyung made her own career path. Kim Ra-kyung, a graduate of Gyeryong Middle School and Jinseop High School, entered the Department of Physical Education at Seoul National University in 2020 and joined the men’s baseball team and faced male elite players. Kim Ra-kyung said, “When I played at Seoul National University, I realized that I lacked my physical strength. Even if he tried his best, he could only pitch three innings. The hitters were aggressive in hitting my ball. So I had to pay attention to breaking balls and control, not strength, he said. “I also gained courage. He once lost a lot of runs in three innings, but he also blocked it without losing a point until two innings. “I was worried about how I could overcome male players, whether it was strength or technology, but I got hope,” he recalled.
Kim Ra-kyung opened a new road again. He will leave the country on the 18th and join the Asahi Trust in the Japanese business league. Japan is considered an advanced country in women’s baseball, which has developed for more than 100 years, starting with softball and softball. There is a way to continue baseball from elementary school to college, and there are dozens of teams across the country. It’s gone now, but until recently, professional leagues were also run. Now that the professional league has disappeared, professional clubs such as the Hanshin Tigers and the Yomiuri Giants have founded the Ladies’ team to support the women’s baseball industry.
Kim Ra-kyung said, “When I was a freshman in high school (2016), I first experienced women’s baseball in the world at the Women’s Baseball World Cup. She faced many women’s baseball powerhouses such as Japan, Australia, and Canada. Among the many strong teams, Japan, the winner, was different. The attitude toward baseball was serious and the teamwork was good. Team play and infield defense were also really solid. At that time, I first thought, “I’m a frog in a well.” I wanted to learn advanced baseball,” he recalled
Kim Ra-kyung, who is challenging for the first time in Korea, hopes her juniors will follow her path. That’s why he not only played as a player but also created the team JDB (Just Do Baseball) himself. The JDB, which is organized around young players, gathers every two weeks in the form of a foreign club and plays games. They are constantly promoting themselves through live YouTube. Kim Ra-kyung said, “There are more and more juniors who have the same dream and worries as me. So I wanted to create a team that fosters promising players for the national team.” He said, “I hope it will be a place where friends encourage each other and dream of advancing to Japanese women’s baseball together.”
Women’s baseball is not an official sport in most domestic and international competitions. So there are many difficulties. Kim Ra-kyung said, “To make JDB a systematic team, we submitted proposals to local governments, associations and companies nationwide and had conversations. Each time, women’s baseball was not supported because it was not a national sport or an Olympic sport. It’s just a hobby, so there’s no goal. So it is difficult for young players to continue or for parents to apply,” he said with regret.
Kim Ra-kyung said, “A total of 9 million won was collected from crowdfunding, which was conducted by producing JDB mascots and T-shirts. “We wanted to make a place for aspiring women’s baseball players,” he said. “But it’s still a small amount. More power is needed to run a team or hold a competition. I hope the Women’s Baseball Federation, Little Baseball Federation and companies will be interested in it,” he said 파워볼사이트
Kim Ra-kyung’s dream is to become a “job” rather than a “hobby” for Korean women’s baseball, like Japan. Kim Ra-kyung said, “I hope there will be a league where female baseball players become professionals even if wages are low. The charm of Japanese women’s baseball is its cute play. It is an attractive league because it is well connected to the local community. I want to go and learn and feel it,” he said. “Australian women’s baseball also adjusts the league environment according to physical differences, such as moving the fence forward to about 90 meters. That way, I can get a home run and see a lively play,” he said of the possibility of women’s baseball. He said, “I want to become a sports administrator after visiting Japan. I want to be a person who makes there are no players or sports that are left out.”