“hello!” On the 13th (local time), Jupiter Rogerdine Stadium, Florida, USA. During the spring training of the St. Louis Cardinals in the American Major League, I heard a little awkward Korean. The main character of the greeting was Tommy Edman (28, photo), a St. Louis infielder and a member of the Korean national team for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC).
Edman was born to a Korean mother and an American father. His middle name is ‘Hyeonsu’ and his full name is Thomas Hyunsu Edmon. He was able to wear the Taegeuk mark because the WBC allows him to join the national team with a relationship such as parental lineage. This is the first case in which a foreign player of Korean descent has been selected for the baseball team. “It’s a great honor for me to be the first,” Edman said. “I’m very excited for the WBC.”
Edmund will step on Korean soil for the first time since he was born. Edman said, “I’m not sure yet, but my tentative plan is to stay in Seoul for a few days before the national team goes to Osaka, Japan.” Originally, he was scheduled to join in Osaka, where the WBC official training will be held on the 5th of next month, but there has been a change. There is a high possibility that he will participate in the Gocheok Dome training in Seoul on the 2nd, three days earlier.
I feel the growing interest of Korean fans with my skin. Edmund said, “Her grandmother in LA reads a lot of Korean newspapers. Her grandmother told me that there were many articles about me playing for the national team.” He said, “I have a lot of Korean followers on social media, too,” and “Thanks to that, I get courage.” 안전놀이터
Edmund won the 2021 National League Second Baseman Gold Glove, given to the best defenseman. He is fast on his feet and has a lot of attack power. In the WBC, he plans to form a keystone duo with shortstop Kim Ha-seong (San Diego). He gave up his current St. Louis uniform number, number 19, to Woo-seok Ko (LG), and wears number 11, which he wore during his freshman year at Stanford University. Edmon said, “I can contribute to the game in various ways, including offense, defense, and running,” and said, “The fact that I maintain consistency and stay calm every time at bat is my strength.”
I am excited at the thought of meeting Kim Gwang-hyeon (SSG) again, whom I ate together in St. Louis. Edman said, “I’m excited to meet all the players and become one team,” referring to Kim Ha-seong, who he met in the major leagues, Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), who is looking to advance to the US next year, and Kim Hyun-soo (LG), who passed through the Baltimore Orioles.
He has already entered into a war of nerves with his teammate Lars Nutba (26), who joined the Japanese national team, the ‘rival of destiny’. Korea and Japan, which belong to Group B, will play a Korea-Japan match in Tokyo on the 10th of next month. Edman said, “Nutba and I exchanged trash talk (words that kill the opponent). I’m excited because if I win the game, I’ll have a chance to brag all year long,” he said cheerfully. “It will be an interesting match,” he added. I hope we can go farther than Japan.”
Japanese media also visited the training site that day, confirming the high interest of both Korea and Japan towards the WBC. Nutba said, “Suzuki Seiya, who plays for the St. Louis rival Chicago Cubs, and I will become a team, and Edmund will turn from a teammate to an enemy.” “I’m sorry, but we will beat Korea.”
Nolan Eranado of St. Louis, who is the best third baseman in the big leagues and is playing for the U.S. national team, said, “It is amazing to see Edmon play. He will be a great help to the Korean national team.”
Edmund joined the national team late due to the club’s circumstances, so he has little time to get in touch with the players. But as long as he diligently builds his body and raises his senses, he doesn’t worry too much. “He’s starting to hit the plate, and I think he’ll be fine with his defense and arm until the tournament,” Edman said. He will be ready at the WBC.”
Edmund also runs with the national team toward the semifinals, which is the goal. Edman said, “I want to help Korea win,” and “I hope Korea creates a repercussion in the tournament.”