“I considered the symbolic meaning of the national team, responsibility, and pride.”

In the end, he was caught in the ‘academic violence controversy’. Ahn Woo-jin (24, Kiwoom), who won the KBO League pitcher Golden Glove last year, was unable to wear the Taegeuk mark. It was a decision made after careful consideration, and it was a choice that took into account the symbolism and responsibility of being a national representative.

The Korea Baseball Organization 메이저놀이터 (KBO) announced the 30-man entry for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) at the Baseball Hall located in Gangnam-gu, Seoul on the 4th. Among the 30 elite members, there was no name of Ahn Woo-jin.

The biggest concern for the final entry of the WBC national team led by coach Kang-Cheol Lee was whether Woo-Jin Ahn would be promoted. As Ahn Woo-jin is a Golden Glove winner in the KBO League pitching category in the 2022 season, his skills have been verified. However, the issue of school violence in his past got in the way.

KBO Technical Committee Chairman Beom-Hyeon Cho said, “The criteria for selecting players were selected in consideration of various factors such as skill, symbolism representing the country, responsibility, and pride.” Chairman Cho did not give a specific answer, but the meaning was sufficiently conveyed in the words ‘symbolism and responsibility of the national team’. It is read as meaning that they will not be selected as the controversy over school violence has emerged.

Ahn Woo-jin has risen as a pitcher representing the KBO League. He pitched in 30 regular season games last year and went 15-8 with a 2.11 earned run average and 224 strikeouts. He was praised for being the perfect pitcher as he ranked among the best in earned run average and strikeouts.

Although his skills were verified, he was disciplined for school violence during high school and received a 3-year suspension from the Korea Baseball Softball Association. The Korea Olympic Committee’s national team selection rules contain information that players who have been disciplined for more than three years cannot be selected as the national team permanently. He was deprived of the opportunity to participate in the Olympics or Asian Games. The WBC is not bound by the rules of the Korea Sports Council or the National Olympic Committee (NOC), but the possibility of An Woo-jin’s selection for the national team has virtually disappeared due to the failure to board the national team.

Chairman Cho said, “Today, 30 people were announced, so it is Choi for now, but depending on whether or not there is an injury, 1 or 2 people may be moved. If there is no injury issue, the possibility of changing the entry is low,” he dismissed the possibility of additional selection.