온라인바카라 Hanwha Eagles’ second-year right-hander Moon Dong-ju (20) has been in the spotlight this season.
On 12 April, Moon threw 160.1 km/h against the Gwangju KIA Tigers. A lot of attention was paid to the rookie, who had just turned professional, as he broke the 160km/h barrier that no other Korean pitcher had ever broken.
After a brief hiatus, Moon has found his form again and is a stalwart in Hanwha’s starting rotation. He was even selected for the Hangzhou Asian Games, showing that he has the potential to lead the Korean baseball team in the future.
He has received a lot of attention for his skills early on, so he may have a lot of pressure on his shoulders, but he also has a great personality. Club officials and fellow players who have seen him up close all agree that he is a “really good player.”
In addition to his baseball skills and good character, Moon’s English has been the talk of the town lately.
Felix Peña (Dominican Republic), a foreign ace who serves as the de facto first baseman for Hanwha, was recently asked by a reporter if he was close to any of his teammates, and he mentioned Moon without hesitation.
“He speaks the best English among the players, so I feel comfortable talking to him often,” Peña said. Nick Williams (USA), who made his debut in a Hanwha jersey on the 27th, also said that “Moon Dong-ju talked to me first, which helped me adjust.”
It is thanks to his English language skills that Moon is able to take care of foreign players. “He went to an English kindergarten when he was younger,” said a Hanwha official.
In general, it is not common for Korean athletes to speak English well in their professional careers. Occasionally, some athletes who have lived abroad as children do well, but the vast majority of homegrown athletes are so focused on their sport that they don’t have time to learn English. Similarly, it is very rare for athletes to have attended English language kindergartens as children.
Naturally, it’s interesting to hear that Moon attended an English preschool.
“When I was younger, there weren’t many English language kindergartens around, but my parents sent me to an English language kindergarten because they said, ‘It will definitely help you when you grow up,'” he laughs, “so I could communicate in English.”
“I didn’t continue to study English, but it’s not at a great level. When I talk to Williams, I can listen, but I can’t say what I’m thinking, so I ask my brothers to translate for me,” she said, adding, “I feel like I’m naturally practising my English by talking to foreign players.”
“I am grateful that my parents gave me the opportunity to learn English even though it would have been a financial burden,” said Moon, who also greets Peña and Ricardo Sanchez (Venezuela), both from South America, in Spanish.
Hanwha, meanwhile, is on a six-game winning streak that began with a victory over the KIA Tigers on the 21st and ended on the 28th against the KT Wiz. That’s six wins in 1371 days.
Peña (two wins), Sanchez (one win), and Moon Dong-joo (one win) were responsible for four of the wins. Williams also had two hits against KT on the 28th, his second appearance in the KBO.
While we shouldn’t read too much into Moon’s English language skills, it’s clear that he’s helped the team, as Peña and Williams both cited him as a player who has helped them adjust to life in Korea.