Ace of Ace

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 – Live Pitching 05


The players in the second string changed their opinions of Gun Choi.

“Could we ask him to teach us the changeup?”

“No way, he’s a cold-hearted person.”

“But Sung-Guk talked to him.”

“He is different from us. He went back and forth from the first string.”

“Has he?”

“Yes.”

Gun Choi tsk tsked as he heard this conversation from far away.

‘Sung-Guk Jung isn’t any different.’

Gun Choi only faced Sung-Guk Jung because he constantly talked to him, not because of his position in the team.

Gun Choi thought that the reason why Sung-Guk Jung could enter the first string was because of his persistence.

‘Persistence is the cornerstone for success. Sung-Guk Jung might become a first string regular faster than expected.’

The morning training started at the order from the batting coach.

“Ok, let’s get started!”

Gun Choi warmed up his body by running and stretching with the second string players.

‘If I can’t focus on winter training, I’ll have a hard time next season.’

Gun Choi and the second string players spent a bit more time due to the cold weather.

“One! Two! One! Two!”

Players practiced at the word of command.

Gun Choi thought that AT Communication’s training intensity was normal. It wasn’t  harder or easier than other teams.

After warming up, the players grouped in threes and started intensive training.

“I’m bored of repeating.”

“We need this. We can’t go abroad for training in November.”

The players ran 60 meters at full sprint before warning track at the command of a coach.[a][b]

It was Gun Choi’s turn.

Every player in the second string watched him.

“How fast is he?”

“He’s not going to run at full power, this is winter.”

“I think he will run normally.”

“Right..If he gets injured, that would be a big loss.”

The coach made a signal while the players were noisy.

“Go!”

Gun Choi started to run forward rapidly.

He was very fast.

The players couldn’t believe his running speed.

“He doesn’t need to run so fast.”

“Right, it’s easy to get injured during winter.”

“Real training starts from spring camp. We just need to stretch our muscles.”

If Gun Choi had heard the second string players’ conversation, he would have said,

‘Keep practicing until you vomit. Otherwise, you can’t go to the first string.’

Gun Choi practiced a lot when he was in the Minor Leagues.

Every one of his colleagues acknowledged that.

A genius of practicing, that was who Gun Choi was.

After training, he went home.

The players of the second string complained that he never mingled with others. But Gun Choi thought it was natural to not join them in drinking a beer or coffee.

The most important things for players were practice and relaxation.

“Brother!”

Gun Choi looked at him with his bag on shoulder. It was Sung-Kuk Jung.

“What happened?”

“I have one thing to ask you.”

“To me?”

“Yes.”

Gun Choi looked annoyed but didn’t turn his head to him which meant he would answer him.

“Brother, you’re right-handed, but how you are good at using the changeup?”

In the baseball world, many left-handed pitchers were good at the changeup.

So Sung-Kuk Jung thought the changeup was a main weapon for those who were left-handed.

Gun Choi hesitated a moment.

‘If I don’t explain well, he will keep asking me. No way. I’ll answer correctly.”

He sighed and talked to Sung-Kuk Jung.

“If you want be good at using the changeup against right-handed batters, you’d better change your stance.”

Right.

The reason why Gun Choi’s changeup had threatened the right-handed batter was because he stepped on the left side of the mound.

To cover this weakness, Gun Choi sometimes stepped to the right-hand side of the mound and pitched.

Sung-Kuk looked as if he had learned a big lesson.

“Oh! The position of the feet…Ok, I see.”

After his lecture, Sung-Kuk Jung bowed ninety-degrees.

“Are you done?”

Gun Choi carelessly responded and turned away.

And a message showed up.

- Credibility rank increased.

Credibility: C- → C

Credibility rose to C from C-.

Gun Choi was little astonished that the system could also check the relationship among people.

“Someday this system is going to check my personal love.”

- Your love rank is F.

Gun Choi bent his brow at the unexpected message.

“Hey, that’s too bad, F? My character is not bad.”

But the system didn’t change the rank.

Gun Choi tutted as he walked.

“AI plays with human being.”

Gun Choi continued his practice even after getting back home.

In the virtual ground by using the ring.

Here he trained his knuckleball.

The ball rode the winds and passed by the mitt.

“I considered too much wind. Let me try again.”

He pitched exactly where he wanted. And then he loudly shouted,

“Strike!”

One of the problems of the ring was that the people in the ring never spoke.

So he often spoke loudly when he was in the ring.

Once he got the knack, his knuckleball improved a lot.

He trained his knuckleball and his skill reached peak performance.

His rank developed to a D+ in a few days and to a C by the end of November.

And after 3 days, his rank increased again.

- Knuckleball rank increased. C- → C

Gun Choi jumped up suddenly when his rank reached C.

“Ok, I’m prepared for the showcase!”

Rank C meant that there wouldn’t be any problems in a real game.

Gun Choi thought that he could show something to Tomson who abandoned him from Boston because of his confident 150km/h fastball and knuckleball.

“Wait for me, Tomson. I’m going to the Major Leagues.”

[a]not sure what this means

[b]raw text,,,선수들은 코치의 지시에 따라 워닝 트랙 앞까지 60m 를 전력 질주하였다.

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