‘No. 55→22’…Why Chae Eun-sung changed her number to the same one as Kim Hyun-soo
For baseball players, a jersey number is more than just a number. A player’s number is a symbol of who they are, and if they’re a star on a team, you’re likely to hear their name a few times, so they have their own reasons for choosing their number.
Hanwha’s Chae Eun-sung chose the number 22 when she switched from LG to Hanwha as a free agent last winter.
Chae has also worn the numbers 102, 54, 00, and 55 for LG. Among them, number 55 is a lucky number for Chae, as she wore it for seven years after establishing herself as a first-team regular in 2016. For Chae, who joined the team as a foster player and hit the free agent jackpot, number 55 is his life number. However, after moving to Hanwha, she wore number 22 instead of 55.
Why did Chae choose number 22?
There are many reasons why she chose number 22. One of them was that she wanted to be like LG’s Kim Hyun-soo. Kim Hyun-soo wore number 22 when he signed as a free agent with LG in 2018. He started his baseball career with the number 22 instead of the number 50 he wore at Doosan.
Chae Eun-sung spent five years with Kim Hyun-soo at LG and saw firsthand how he changed the culture of the organization. Kim has not only strengthened the LG batting lineup, but also changed the team culture, turning LG into a perennial powerhouse. When a top-paid veteran like Hyun-soo Kim leads by example, younger players can’t help but follow suit. This culture spreads throughout the team, creating a virtuous cycle, and LG now boasts one of the best depths in the league 안전놀이터.
Chae Eun-sung learned from Kim Hyun-soo and chose the same number 22 as Kim Hyun-soo to become the ‘Kim Hyun-soo of Hanwha’.
Kim Hyun-soo and Chae Eun-sung had a lot to talk about during the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League game between the Hanwha Eagles and LG Twins at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on April 21. The two players are veterans who lead their teams, so they share information with each other.
Meanwhile, Hanwha has a lot of players who need to grow in the future, including Noh Si-hwan, Jung Eun-won, and Kim In-hwan. They can learn from Chae’s training and mindset.
Last year, Hanwha was often seen expressing his emotions by throwing his helmet or smashing his bat when a good pitch was caught or a baseball didn’t go his way. But this season is different. I learned from Chae Eun-sung how not to let things out of your control affect you. He’s relaxed and focused on playing baseball with integrity.
Chae Eun-sung has learned a lot from Kim Hyun-soo about what a senior should do. Now, at Hanwha, a team with many young players, Chae Eun-sung is trying to change the team culture like Kim Hyun-soo.