“Ahn Kwon-soo, I fed you…” The inside story of ‘Guk Tran’ who transformed from a bear to a giant

[By Kim Young-rok, Sports Chosun] Kook Hae-sung, 34, of “Kooktran,” has shared his thoughts on wearing the Lotte Giants uniform.

On the 23rd, Lotte’s YouTube channel, Giants TV, released an interview with Kook Hae-sung.

In the interview, Kook introduced himself as 안전놀이터 “I played for the Doosan Bears until 2021 and the Seongnam Magpies (this year)”.

“I’m grateful to have joined Lotte,” he said. It was a young, ambitious, and cool team, even from other teams. The fans’ passionate support and the way they cheered for the players every time they came to the ballpark was really cool.” “I feel honored,” he said. I’ll do my best to prepare well and help out.”

Kook Hae-sung is in his 16th year of professional baseball, having started as a foster player in 2008. He has long been recognized as a switch-hitter and big bat prospect, but he was unable to fulfill his potential with Doosan. He struggled to compete with outfielders his age, including Kim Jae-hwan, Park Gun-woo, and Kim In-tae, and was eventually released after the 2021 season due to injuries.

“I tried to do the same as I did in the pros,” he said. “In the morning, I weighed weights and did the main training. In the morning, I lifted weights, and I tried to continue the routine during the main training without breaking it,” he said. “I train both defense and batting meticulously. If I didn’t do as much as I wanted, I felt uncomfortable. I trained like I did when I was in the pros,” he emphasized.

Because of his imposing physique and his position as an outfielder, he is nicknamed ‘Kook Tran’. Lotte’s Jeon Jun-woo is also nicknamed “Jeon Tran. “I’ll say that (Jeon) Junwoo will do it,” Kook Hae-sung laughed at the PD’s suggestion of filming content of the two of them together.

His hard work and potential as a pinch-hitter and outfielder earned him a spot in Lotte. Luckily, he has many close friends in Lotte, so he shouldn’t have any trouble adjusting. He is very close to second team coaches Ahn Kwon-soo, Yoon Myung-joon, Hyun Do-hoon, and Kim Dong-han, all of whom came from Doosan. He is also close to his teammates who played for other teams, such as Noh Jin-hyuk and Yoo Kang-nam, and has been friends with Noh since elementary school.

Kook Hae-sung said of Ahn Kwon-soo, “I fed him when he was at Doosan. I bought him food every day,” he said, adding, “(Lotte) will take care of me a lot because Kwon-soo came first.”

Kook Hae-sung gave a warm greeting to Lotte fans, saying, “I will prepare well, and when I return to the first team, I will stand in front of the fans with a great play.”