Hyun-Jin Ryu: The Next Asian Superstar?

Article by Bak Keung Ko
Photo by Peshean Zhang

Less than 24 hours ago, Hyun-Jin Ryu of the L.A. Dodgers gave his best performance yet as he struck out 8 batters, and only had a single run after three hits and seven innings against the New York Mets at Citi Field in New York. With these initial statistics, he now has a 2.69 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, an impressive start for a fresh MLBer.*1

Born in South Korea, Ryu started off his baseball career in Dongsan High School, where he was named Best Pitcher for left-handedly pitching consecutive scoreless innings. In the following years, he was selected to be a part of the national junior team runner-up at the 6th Asian Junior Baseball Championship and brought them to the finals with 10 strikeouts and 1 unearned run. 2 In 2006, Ryu debuted with the Hanwha Eagles in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and became the only player in Korean baseball history to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP award in the same season. He also played for the South Korean national team in 2008 Beijing Olympics and earned them a win. In 2009, he represented South Korea in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) where the team became runner up. He also played in the 2010 Asian Games.2 In 2013, he became the first Korean to join a U.S. team in Major League Baseball (MLB).2 To date, he has helped win a team Bronze medal for 2006 Doha Asian Games, a team Gold Medal for the Olympics, a team Silver Medal for WBC, and a Gold Medal for the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.*2

In April 2013, Ryu made his first MLB debut against the San Fransisco Giants and received his first win against the Pittsburgh Pirates the following week.*3 Since then, he has helped his team get two consecutive wins along with some very excellent statistics. His contributions against the Mets yesterday allowed the Dodgers to leave with high hopes for their future. Will he be THE next Asian superstar, taking after Jeremy Lin?

For more of Hyun-Jin Ryu’s photos, please visit: http://www.facebook.com/AsianInNYFans

1Hyun-Jin Ryu, Stats, Video. Major League Baseball. Retrieved April 26, 2013 from http://mlb.mlb.com.

2Hyun-Jin Ryu, Statistics and History. Baseball Reference. Retrieved April 26, 2013 from http://www.baseball-reference.com.

3“Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the start, and first endorsement deal”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 26, 2013 from http://www.latimes.com.

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