A familiar face to baseball fans appeared at the KBO tryout scene. This is Hwang Young-mook (23), an infielder who made his name known through baseball entertainment programs such as Youth Baseball Team and Strongest Baseball 안전놀이터.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) held a 2024 rookie draft tryout at the Konjiam Team Up Campus in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do on the 28th. Hwang Young-mook, 5 overseas amateur and pro players, and high school and college dropout players participated.

After dropping out of Chung-Ang University, Hwang Young-muk, a graduate of Chunghun High School, worked for independent league clubs such as Seongnam Blue Panthers, Scorebone Hyenas, and Yeoncheon Miracle to qualify for this year’s draft. Last year, he achieved a cycling hit at Yeoncheon Miracle and left a strong impression, recording a high batting average of over 40%. 

Hwang Young-mook, who recently appeared on a famous baseball entertainment program, showed off his solid skills to baseball fans and received a lot of attention. This year, he joined the strongest baseball monsters, where retired players such as Lee Dae-ho and Park Yong-taek are playing, and played an active part as the main infielder, and won the game MVP (Best Player) in the Jangchung Classic. 

As such, Hwang Myung-mook, who is familiar with baseball fans, challenged the KBO league and drew attention. We can expect to see him playing on the professional stage, not on an entertainment program. 

On this day, it rained all morning at the team up campus stadium where the tryout was held. However, it could not stop the strong desire of the participating players for the professional stage. Hwang Young-mook showed confidence, “I thought it would be familiar and comfortable because it’s my team’s home stadium, but it rained and I was a little embarrassed. Still, I think I did well as usual.”

Hwang Young-muk prepared to enter the KBO League in an independent league from 2019 after dropping out of his Chung-Ang University. He said, “I played baseball for four seasons in the independent league, and this year’s tryout was the most important to me.” 

After the 2019 season, he must have had difficulty maintaining his skills as he enlisted in the military on active duty. However, Hwang Young-muk expressed his gratitude, saying, “Fortunately, the battalion commander is a baseball-loving person, so he was very considerate.” “He gave me enough space and time to exercise.” He continued, “I was originally on the small side, but I gained weight and came out with a good body.”

He even had a reunion with a familiar face in the army. Hwang Young-mook, who served in the military with his close junior, Ko Seung-min (23, Lotte), said, “As a professional, (Ko Seung-min) is a senior, so I received a lot of advice.” 

The recent appearance on a baseball entertainment program was also a great motivation. Hwang Young-mook said, “I had a lot of worries while playing baseball, but I learned a lot by appearing on the youth baseball team and playing against a professional team.”

He has garnered a lot of attention through broadcasting, but he has a strong desire to be recognized for his skills. Hwang Young-mook said, “I am not a broadcaster, so I think such interest is undeserved. I did not play baseball with the goal of becoming famous as a broadcaster. I want to become famous as a professional player.”

However, thanks to his appearances on the show, he was able to build a reputation. Hwang Young-mook confessed, “There were people who recognized me from the outside, and there were many people who supported me. I received a lot of contact from my acquaintances.” He continued, “He wants to go pro and become a player who is supported.”

After the try-out, Hwang Young-mook smiled and said, “I think everything I can do is over now. I feel relieved.” He then said, “I thought that this year’s draft was my last chance to go pro, so I hope there will be good results.”

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