Correspondent Lee Dae-ho = Professional baseball Kiwoom Heroes main catcher Lee Ji-young (37) is a ‘experienced new employee’ for the Korean baseball team.

In the KBO League, he is a veteran catcher who has gone through all kinds of battles, but he was the first to wear the Taegeuk mark through Lee Kang-cheol, who will participate in the 안전놀이터 World Baseball Classic (WBC) to be held in March this year.

At the WBC final entry announcement press conference on the 4th, Lee Kang-cheol, coach of the baseball team, explained the selection background, saying, “I think Yang Eui-ji is the starting pitcher. Lee Ji-young is old, but he is sincere and his skills are not lacking.”

In a telephone interview with Yonhap News, Lee Ji-young, who was in charge of the national team’s home with Yang Eui-ji, said, “I felt good just to be selected as a preliminary entry. (The final selection) I did not expect,” he said. The responsibility is great,” he said.

Receiving congratulations from many people, including his family, he expected, “If I receive the uniform (being selected for the national team), I think it will touch my heart.”

Lee Ji-young is the oldest player among the 30 members of the national team.

Park Byung-ho (37, kt wiz) is the same age, but Lee Ji-young, born in February, entered school early and is one year older.

Lee Ji-young, who belatedly blossomed as a member of the national team, said, “My juniors younger than me, who played a lot in the national team, will hold the center anyway. I think the biggest role is to help those players and lead young players.”

Lee Ji-young, who has been silently protecting Kiwoom’s home, is one of the main players who led the team to runner-up in the Korean Series last season.

He appeared as a catcher in 137 games, the most in the league, and started all 15 games in the postseason to keep his home.

Baseball team coach Lee Kang-cheol said, “I liked the way he showed in the postseason last year,” so his performance in fall baseball made ‘National Catcher Lee Ji-young’.

Lee Ji-young calmly expressed her determination, “(Yang) Eui-ji will start as a starter, so I will help as a backup. When I go out, I will do my best as I always do.”

He was delighted, saying, “My two goals in the rest of my baseball life were the national team and the Golden Glove. I achieved one of them.”

Kiwoom selected only three players for this national team: Lee Ji-young, Lee Jung-hoo (25), and Kim Hye-seong (25).

This means that none of the 15 national team pitchers Lee Ji-young has ever worked with.

However, Lee Ji-young said, “Even if I didn’t receive the ball, they were the pitchers I dealt with at bat.”

Lee Ji-young, along with the Kiwoom team, leaves for Scottsdale, Arizona, USA on the 29th, and then joins the national team camp in Tucson, Arizona, in mid-February.

Lee Ji-young, who was selected as a national representative for the first time and had a schedule different from previous years, said, “I keep building my body, so there is no big problem. I want to prepare well and show a good image.”

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