Shim Jun-seok joined Pittsburgh with a lower-than-expected down payment. Shim Jun-seok chose to go to America to pursue his dream, not his money.
On the 27th (Korean time), Shim Jun-seok held a ceremony at PNC Park, the home stadium of the Pittsburgh Pirates located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. During his time at Deoksu High School, Shim Jun-seok wore his uniform number 49 and quilted it on the Pittsburgh mound.
According to the US’MLB.com, Shim Jun-seok said at the joining ceremony, “I still have a long way to go. But I am very happy to be here. I want to come here quickly and throw the ball. This visit has motivated me.” .
Shim Jun-seok was famous as a fast-throwing pitcher during his time at Deoksu High School. He recorded the highest speed of 157 km, and ‘MLB.com’ reported that Shim Jun-seok usually throws a fastball of 94 to 96 miles (about 151 to 154 km). Shim Jun-seok did not apply for the KBO draft and went to the American stage. ‘MLB.com’ said, “Even if Shim Jun-seok remained in Korea, he would have been selected in the first round even if he was not the overall first pick in the KBO draft. But he had Shim Jun-seok’s ambitions in the United States.” 안전놀이터
One of the things that attracted attention after Shim Jun-seok signed with the Pittsburgh was the down payment. Pittsburgh did not disclose the contract fee with Shim Jun-seok, but the US media ‘Pirates Prospects’ said, “Shim Jun-seok signed a contract with a contract of 750,000 dollars (approximately 900 million won).” Some said that he would exceed the contract fee of 1 million dollars (approximately 1.2 billion won), but he signed a contract with a lower amount than expected.
Among new pitchers in the KBO League, the player who received the most down payment was Han Gi-joo, who joined the KIA Tigers in 2006. At the time, Han Ki-joo signed a contract of 1 billion won. Jang Jae-young, who came from Deoksu High School like Shim Jun-seok, joined Kiwoom Heroes in 2021 with a down payment of 900 million won. It may seem like a small amount that Shim Jun-seok, who chose to go to the United States, received a down payment of 750,000 dollars.
However, Shim Jun-seok went to the United States to pursue a dream, not money. Shim Jun-seok met with reporters at Incheon International Airport on the 24th before leaving the country and opened up about his down payment. “I didn’t try to hide the contract fee on purpose. I didn’t really think about it because the team didn’t disclose it,” he said. “I’m satisfied with my contract fee. Others may think it’s a small amount. “I can work hard and go up (to the major leagues) and earn money. I don’t care.”
At the initiation ceremony, Shim Jun-seok made it clear that he chose to go to the United States to achieve his dream, saying, “It was my dream to play in the United States. I pursued my dream of playing baseball here.”