Some are special, some are nostalgic…the ‘memorial ball’ argument

Choi Hyung-woo (39-KIA Tigers) has yet to receive the KBO’s first 1,500-hit milestone.

Choi Joo-hwan (35-SSG Landers) 꽁머니 received his 1,000th career hit in a twist of fate.

“I don’t have much of an attachment to it,” Choi said, “and I’m not sorry if I don’t get to keep it.”

On the other hand, Choi Joo-hwan, who was very attached to the commemorative ball, sparked controversy when he posted a video on his social networking service (SNS) identifying the fan who held the 1,000-hit commemorative ball.

As a result of the misunderstanding, Choi apologized to the fan and returned the ball to him, even though the fan didn’t know it was a 1,000-hit commemorative ball.

The two incidents occurred around the same time and raised interest in the memorial ball.

Choi hit a two-run shot over the center field fence with one out in the top of the fourth inning against the visiting Hanwha Eagles at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon, South Korea, on April 20 to reach 1,500 career hits.

It was the first time in nearly seven years that the top spot in the KBO’s all-time RBI list has changed hands since Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop became the league’s all-time leader with 1,390 RBIs on Aug. 24, 2016, against the SK Wyverns while still with the Samsung Lions, surpassing current Baseball Foundation President Yang Jun-hyuk (1,389 RBIs).

He also became the first KBO player to reach 1,500 RBIs.

Choi’s shot cleared the center field fence, hit the outfield grass, and came back into play.

Hanwha center fielder Moon Hyun-bin then threw the ball into the outfield bleachers.

Normally, this would have been a good fan service, but the 1,500-hit milestone was different.

Hanwha team officials rushed to find the fan and asked him what he wanted.

Hanwha offered to provide a souvenir, but the fan said he wanted to keep the ball for himself.

Choi Hyung-woo did not show any resentment towards the memorabilia, so there was no conflict over it.

Choi Joo-hwan also resolved the misunderstanding.

Choi hit a solo home run in the second inning of a home game against the Incheon Lotte Giants on April 16, giving him 1,000 career hits.

Initially, Choi thought the fan who caught the ball had refused the team’s request to retrieve the memorabilia.

Choi took to social media to plead with the fan to return the ball.

The fan hadn’t heard anything from the team during the game about retrieving the ball.

Realizing that he had misunderstood the club’s explanation, Choi apologized to the fan. The fan agreed to return the ball and accepted the apology.

As Korean baseball has begun to recognize the importance of preserving records, teams are making efforts to retrieve memorabilia.

In addition to balls with records, players also keep balls with personal significance, such as their first hit.

The problem arises when the ball is caught by a spectator.

Naturally, the ball belongs to the spectator who caught it.

Each team will try to retrieve the memorabilia by offering the fan an autographed ball or jersey of the player they want.

The unspoken rule for all teams and the KBO is not to exchange cash for memorabilia.

The KBO, which is promoting the construction of the Korea Baseball Museum (Korea Baseball Hall of Fame) in partnership with Gijang-gun, Busan, also stores baseball-related artifacts at the Korea Baseball Hall Archive Center.

The KBO does not forcibly retrieve items owned by individual players.

Items donated to the KBO by players or retrieved directly by the KBO from international tournaments are stored.

In the case of memorabilia related to individual records, the ball from the moment of the actual record is left with the player or team, and another memorabilia is produced and stored on the same day.

Each club also has a ‘Baseball Museum’ to keep the records of its players.

The most popular memorabilia is the home run ball.

In Korean professional baseball, the home run ball of Doosan’s Lee Seung-yeop, the “national hitter,” is often talked about.

Lee’s home run ball, number 600 in his Korean-Japanese career, sold for 150 million won at an online auction. This is reportedly the highest price ever for a Korean sports auction.

Lee’s personal home run ball No. 300 was purchased by a businessman for 120 million won and given to the Samsung baseball team.

The home run ball with the most home runs in a season (56 in 2003) was caught by a Samsung supplier and donated to the Samsung Baseball Organization. Samsung Baseball presented the employee with a solid gold baseball.

In the U.S., where sports auctions are more common, commemorative items are more likely to make headlines.

Last year, Aaron Judge’s (New York Yankees) 62nd home run of the season attracted attention.

Jersey hit his 62nd home run of the season during a game against the visiting Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, U.S., on October 5, 2016.

It surpassed Roger Maris’ American 메이저놀이터 주소 League record for most home runs in a season (61), which he set in 1961 while wearing a Yankees uniform.

Corey Youmans, who works as a vice president at a branch of investment firm Fisher Investments, caught Jersey #62.

At the time, the Yankees offered $3 million to retrieve the ball, but Youmans refused to accept the Yankees’ offer.

Two months later, in December, he put Jersey’s home run ball up for auction, selling it to a businessman for $1.5 million.

“Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball in 1998 sold for $3 million to a comic book creator,” the Associated Press reported, “and Jersey’s 62nd home run ball is the second-highest-priced home run ball ever sold.”

“I did not participate in the auction,” Jersey said, “The disposition of a home run ball is the right of the fan who caught it. I hope they make a good choice for themselves and their families.”

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