South Korean lefty hurler Kim Seong-min, a name I’m pretty sure some, if not most Orioles fans remember… Kim – the teams’ ace starting pitcher in Sangwon high school, and can top out at 144 kp/h in his fastball velocity… was most well known in the country due to his ban to be able to play ball in the KBO (Korean Baseball organization) for disobeying a rule by accepting a deal made by the Orioles team when he was still enrolled in high school, resulting him also being away from Baseball for several months in the country because of the ban-… With it, the Orioles, too, and its scouts were also barred from entering Korean Baseball league games, and high school games regarding with Kim’s situation in 2012… resulting a “bitter” relation the South Korean domestic Baseball league have with the Orioles team/management.
But, today, is indeed a bright and good day… At least for Kim, the SK Wyverns just drafted lefty pitcher Kim Seong-min (who just returned sometime this year after graduating in Japan, Fukuoka Economics University) on the first round of the 2017 KBO league draft, this, after being away from his country for more than 3 years.
It’s been a one hell of a journey for Kim, during the years, not only was he left adrift by the country he once played ball with… there was self-shame and regret, shunned also by his fellow countrymen (mostly from the social media) by acting very immaturely accepting the Orioles signing money worth 560 K (which is, no doubt, a very high level money deal for someone playing in the KBO, it’ll be pretty hard for someone to just let go of that, added that with his interest to also play in the Major leagues). He once said, if there was ever a chance he could turn back time by bringing him on that very same day, he would’ve said “No” to the Orioles, if only he’d know before hand what’s going to happen to him, none of this would’ve happened… declining the deal, he would’ve been the leagues top draft pick in year 2013.
With his ban from the league finally finished, him being signed, and now be able to play pro ball in the KBO sometime with SK next year in the regular season. May this be a start of a new beginning for him, and erase those painful memories he’s had in the past. Learn from it, and hope something like this never happens to someone, ever again.