‘PIT→ATL→LAD→CIN→SF→LAD→COL→PIT’ Choi Ji-man, a competitor ‘mid-break’ baseball life

 It can be said that the life of baseball is ‘a heart that is not broken’.

Connor Joe (31), a colleague and competitor of Pittsburgh Choi Ji-man (32), is drawing attention with his extraordinary career. Even though he changed teams a whopping 7 times, he never lost his passion for baseball.

As of the 18th (Korean time), Joe has played in 12 games this season, recording a batting average of 0.297 (11 hits in 37 at-bats), 1 home run, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He also has an excellent OPS of 0.909 (on-base percentage and slugging percentage). Although he is early in the season, it is a performance that cannot be ignored. In addition, he is attracting attention because he is consistently active even in unfavorable situations where he is unable to play every day.

In a recent interview with Star News at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Joe cited “the strength of his family and the strength of his coaching staff” as the secret to his success. He said, “Since I was young, my parents did everything I wanted and always respected my opinions. Their trust and support has become the foundation for me to play in the major leagues today.” He added, “The coaching staff who believed in me since spring camp are also a driving force for me to achieve good results now. Thanks to them, I can adapt well to the new team I joined through trade without any unfamiliarity or difficulty.”

Joe, who was born in San Diego, California, USA, was nominated by his current team, Pittsburgh, in the 1st round (39th overall) of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft, while attending the University of San Diego, and entered the professional league. He was from the first round with a guaranteed future, but Joe went through a lot of trades and continued his rough career.

Joe, who was traded to Atlanta in August 2017, three years after going pro, changed his uniform to the Los Angeles Dodgers a month later in September. In the winter of 2018, he moved to Cincinnati, then immediately moved to San Francisco, and in March 2019, he made his dream major league debut. However, he suffered the pain of being released in early April, leaving a poor record of 1 hit in 15 at-bats (batting average of 0.067) in 8 games.

After that, he was able to return to the major leagues in May 2021 after signing a minor contract with Colorado through the Dodgers. In 63 games that year, Joe showed his presence with a batting average of 0.285, 8 homers and 35 RBIs. In the following year, 2022, he played 111 games and took the starting position, but his performance fell to a batting average of 0.238, 7 homers and 28 RBIs. After the season, he was traded back to his home team, Pittsburgh.

Joe is currently one of the hot hitters in Pittsburgh, but he can’t play every day. This is because there are many veteran players such as Choi Ji-man and Andrew McCutchen (37) in his position, outfield and first baseman. On the 15th, ahead of the game against St. Louis, when Choi Ji-man fell out due to ankle pain, Joe took over as the starting first baseman. Regarding this, Joe said, “I only have to do my best in the game I play in. It is the coaching staff’s right to make a lineup.”

Joe also told the story of his Korean roots, which emerged ahead of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March. He said, “Through his colleague Choi Ji-man, I heard that there is a misunderstanding that I am a Korean player. I am a Chinese-American. Both my father and mother are second-generation Chinese immigrants born in the eastern United States.”

Joe’s parents are famous for always coming to the stadium to watch their son’s games, from spring camp to the regular season, unless there is a special occasion. Even on the day Star News interviewed Joe, his parents visited the stadium. Recently, Joe’s little daughter also visits the stadium with her grandparents.

Regarding this, Joe expressed,메이저놀이터 “My family is everything and strength in my life.” He continued, “My father ran a Chinese restaurant and recently retired. My mother is still working as a real estate agent, but when time permits, my father and I come to the ballpark to watch my games.”

Finally, I asked Joe about his goals for this season and his dream in the major leagues.

“There are no numerical goals such as batting average or home runs. My goal is to complete the season without injury. If I can do that, I’m sure my performance will be good. The goal I really want to achieve in the major leagues is to have a long run. Excluding my debut season, now I’m only in my third year in the major leagues, and I want to be a full-time big league player for at least the next 10 years.”

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