An active donor to those in need, Choo Shin-soo, 41, SSG, returned to his roots upon his return to South Korea. He gave back to his alma mater, which laid the foundation for his baseball success.
Since joining the SSG in 2021, Choo has donated a total of 600 million won to his alma mater, including Suyeong Elementary School, Busan Middle School, and Busan High School. Of this, 300 million won went to Busan High School. He didn’t stop there. In 2022, he donated a total of 120 million won worth of baseball supplies to improve the environment for youth and amateur baseball.
Of course, this amount won’t solve everything, but Choo’s efforts to water down amateur baseball are paying off. Busan High School has generously improved its facilities with Choo’s donation, and the juniors who train there have made their seniors smile with tangible results.
With Choo’s donation, Busan High School replaced the old bulb tower on the baseball field with new LED lights, and built an indoor practice field so that players could train comfortably in the rain or in the heat of the day. Naturally, the practice field was named “Choo Shin-soo Hall” in honor of Choo’s achievements and generosity of spirit. Last year, Choo Shin-soo continued his interest and support for his alma mater by donating an additional 50 million won worth of baseball equipment to Busan High School.
Busan Go head coach Park Kye-won emphasizes that this support has greatly helped the players’ training conditions. “It’s not easy to make a donation for your alma mater, but I’m grateful to Choo Shin-soo for deciding to do it for his alma mater,” Park said, adding, “Thanks to this, the players were able to train normally even in difficult weather conditions such as heat waves and rainy seasons.”
The team has been excelling at national level competitions in recent years. After winning the phoenix tournament last year, the team also won the golden lion tournament this year, which ended on the 29th, boosting their pride. Although it is a baseball prestige that represents the Busan region along with Gyeongnam Go, Busan Go has not been able to achieve remarkable results in the national tournament in recent years. It had been 29 years since the team had won the phoenix tournament, and the Golden Lion title was the first honor that Choo Shin-soo hadn’t achieved even when he was a student.
“When I made the donation, I discussed with the school how to utilize the donation because I wanted to provide practical help. “I wanted to help with indoor sports fields and 안전놀이터 lighting conditions because I heard that the baseball team could only do basic training, throwing and hitting balls for three or four hours until the sun went down. “We realized that if we could provide them with training conditions, they would be able to work on their technical skills as well as their basic fitness to improve their game,” he recalls.
“I am grateful to the juniors for their good performance for two years, but I feel more sorry for them. I was able to play baseball because I received a lot of help from the seniors when I was a student, and I think the players around me were able to play a lot in the pros.” “That’s why I should have started helping my alma mater earlier. I’m sorry that I didn’t start helping my alma mater sooner,” he said, adding, “There are juniors now, but I’m even more sorry that I didn’t pay attention to the juniors before me.
The achievements of the juniors are a great feeling for the seniors, regardless of the donation. “I think it’s not necessarily because of my support, but because of the hard work of all the players, including the coach, and I congratulate them,” said Choo Shin-soo, adding, “I think it’s the best gift from a giver’s point of view.” He thanked the juniors again.