June in South Korea is ‘Armed Forces Remembrance Month’. This is because there are many anniversaries designated by the government to commemorate the sacrifices of those who served in the Korean War, including Memorial Day, the June 25 War, and the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong.
In Major League Baseball, there are also players with ties to the Korean War, albeit with different skin colours. Rich Hill (43, Pittsburgh), teammate of Choi Ji-Man (32) and Bae Ji-Hwan (24), is the oldest active pitcher in the major leagues.메이저놀이터
Hill’s father, Lloyd Hill Sr. who died last year at the age of 94, was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, according to MLB.com. He completed the Boston Marathon 37 times during his lifetime, and was known for his physical strength, as well as his good deeds and service to others.
“My father was a veteran of the Korean War,” Hill confirmed to Star News during a recent interview at the home team’s clubhouse at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“I was told that his rank was lieutenant when he was deployed in 1950. However, I don’t have any details about what unit he was in or what battles he fought in during the Korean War. This is because my father was very reticent during his life, and he never mentioned or bragged about these things directly to me.”
When I thanked Hill for his father’s sacrifice, he said, “His time in Korea is something I hope to learn more about in the future.” He added, “If I ever get the chance, I want to follow in his footsteps, because he was willing to risk his precious youth and life for the freedom and peace of Korea. I am so proud and honoured to have a father like that.”
Hill, a native of Massachusetts in the northeastern United States, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fourth round of the 2002 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He rose through the ranks quickly, making his major league debut in June 2005, just three years later. But the road from there was anything but smooth.
Traded to Baltimore in 2009, he has since bounced between Boston-Cleveland-LA Angels-New York Yankees-Boston-Oakland-LA Dodgers-Minnesota-Tampa Bay-New York Mets-Boston before signing a one-year, $8 million deal with Pittsburgh this season. That’s a whopping 13 times he’s changed teams, and he’s played for 12 different organisations.
When asked if he had any trouble adjusting to his new team, Hill said, “Not at all. Pittsburgh has players who played with me in Tampa Bay, such as Choi Ji-Man, which helped me adjust,” he said. “In particular, Choi Ji-Man’s usual cheerfulness is enough to make me want to learn Korean and communicate with him more closely and deeply.”
Hills, now in his 19th year in the majors, is 5-5 with a 4.41 ERA in 12 starts this season as of 7 July. His career record in the big leagues is 87-64 with a 3.87 ERA in 326 games. It’s not glamorous, but his longevity in the jungle-like competition of the big leagues is quite remarkable.
Hill’s teammate Choi Ji-Man was adamant that “Hill is the oldest pitcher in the game, but what he shows on the field before each game is his integrity.” “No one on our team prepares and analyses games as hard as he does,” Choi said.
“Watching Hill’s routine, it’s easy to see how he’s been able to stay in the major leagues for 19 years,” Choi said. “I’m a beast, but I want to emulate his unwavering integrity and the way he’s always working and studying.”
When asked how long he thinks he’ll be able to pitch in the big leagues, Hill said, “Nobody knows. There are no guarantees, but I’m still confident,” he says, beaming.