“I thought we would retire together at Samsung, but I should have bought you another meal.”

While cheering for junior Lee Won-seok (37, Kiwoom Heroes), who suddenly left Kang Min-ho (38), the master of the Samsung Lions, he expressed regret. On the morning of the 27th, Samsung gave Lee Won-seok and the 2024 rookie draft 3rd round nomination right to Kiwoom, and traded for pitcher Kim Tae-hoon (31). It was an inevitable choice for Samsung as the bullpen blood transfusion was urgent.

Not only Lee Won-seok, but also the players heard the news on the morning of the trade day. Lee Won-seok quickly packed up and went up to Seoul, so he left without even saying goodbye to the team. In the Samsung locker room, Lee Won-seok’s seat is still left with his luggage that he has not been able to clean up. Samsung coach Park Jin-man laughed, explaining how he left so quickly, saying, “(Lee) Won-seok said, ‘It took a long time to be selected for today’s (27th) game in Kiwoom.'”

Lee Won-seok first transferred to Samsung as a free agent in 2017 and has been together for 7 years until this year. He was very active as a center hitter and starting third baseman, and in the locker room, he fulfilled his duties as a support for young infielders along with veterans.

No matter how many things happen, it is always difficult to let go of a loved one. We have collected and organized the last messages left by coach Park and the Samsung team to Lee Won-seok.

◆ Director Park Jin-man

It hurts when someone like my family leaves far away. But the professional world can’t help it. He told Won-seok that he had done a great job here. He said thank you for doing well as a veteran. He said, ‘This is the trade Kiwoom asked for because he evaluated you well, so go and take good care of your body so that you can look good.’ We hope that the new player (Kim Tae-hoon) can become one with the existing players so that they can become a family.

◆ Catcher Kang Min-ho (older brother who played on the same team as Lee Won-seok twice)

I should have bought him another meal. At first, we played together at Lotte, then Won-seok went to Doosan as a compensation player, and at Samsung, Won-seok came first and I came back, so we played together again. He thought we would retire together at Samsung, but it’s a pity. It’s a good thing for Won-seok. Being traded at the age of 37 is a good thing because he received good reviews. Goodbye Wonseok, I was happy.

◆ Captain Oh Jae-il (Lee Won-seok’s best friend at Samsung)

I haven’t sent Won-seok yet. He was sleeping in the morning when he suddenly called and said he was being traded, so he hung up. He thought it was a lie. He saw the article and he was stunned. He tried not to pay attention, but his mind was agitated. Then he hit a home run and forgot everything (Daegu Doosan match on the 27th, a come-from-behind manlupo in the 7th inning, Samsung won 7-6). When Won-seok goes, a home run comes out (laughs). Today, Wonseok was busy going up, so we couldn’t talk much. I think he should make a phone call. ㅋㅋㅋ벳

◆ Infielder Gong Min-kyu (Lee Won-seok’s junior whom Lee Won-seok had chosen as his successor)

hadn’t even thought of it. Suddenly, in a group chat room, Won-seok posted a message saying that he was leaving, so I knew then. Until now, he took really good care of me, gave me a lot of help, and when things didn’t go well, he said a lot of bitter words and took care of me like a big brother. Even while leaving, I received a message telling me to do well and to wake up (laughs).

I am a player who has to show off the bat side, but I have nothing to offer right now. Won-seok hyung said he had no choice but to do his best in the given situation. He told me to go out and strike out, don’t lower your head, do as much as you can, and if it doesn’t work, practice. You said it would be nice if you were next to me, but I will do my best not to tarnish (Lee Won-seok’s) name.

Thank you so much for all this time. In fact, Won-seok wasn’t really special to him, but I was grateful that he took care of me like he was his younger brother. I’m not sure if we’ll continue to play baseball together on the same team or not, but I think it was an honorable moment. (If Won-seok meets his older brother as a player on the opposing team) It would be really strange. Still, if Won-seok hyung hits me, I will work hard to catch him.

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