Chapter 17 – Lonely Christmas 02
‘I must show something great. If not, it’ll be a big shame on me.’
Gun Choi stood up and hailed a cab.
Gun Choi showed the memo that Gordon gave him to the driver.
The driver wondered about Gun Choi’s Cubs uniform.
“We don’t have Cubs fans here. Are you from Chicago?”
“I’m a player for the Cubs, not a fan.”
The driver opened his eyes widely as he was introduced to an Asian amor leaguer.
“Are you really? You’re only wearing the top.”
“I signed a contract today and I’ll be starting next year. And I didn’t get the pants yet.”
Gordon didn’t prepare pants because he wasn’t sure about the contract.
The uniform was a spare authentic jersey. Gordon gave it to Gun Choi after the signing.
The driver thought Gun Choi was Japanese so he started to talk about his grand-father’s service in the war.
Gun Choi agreed with the driver. Then the driver realized that Gun Choi wasn’t Japanese.
“Are you from China?”
“No, I’m from Korea.”
The driver nodded his head.
“You’re from the same country as Hyun-Jin Cha.
The most well-known player in the south-west was likely Hyun-Jin Cha from the LA Dodgers.
“Yes, I am.”
The driver also talked about his grandfather’s participation in the Korean war.
After around 20 minutes of driving, a series of ballparks came into view.
Gun Choi smiled at the grand scale of America.
‘If these ball park were in Korea, the cost would be very high.’
He paid the fare and tip, and exited the taxi.
“Wow…pretty spacious. Clean air.’
Gun Choi stretched his arms and took a deep breath.
“Will I see you on TV next year?”
The driver rolled down a window and asked him.
Gun Choi nodded his head.
“Ok, it’s time to get serious.”
Gun Choi opened his eyes with difficulty.
He had a hard time waking up after he arrived in Arizona.
Maybe he needed more time to recover from his jet lag.
“Little more… just a little more…’
He tossed and turned for 3 minutes, and woke up rubbing his eyes.
“To be a Major Leaguer, I can’t let myself be defeated by tiredness.”
He ran to the bathroom and cleaned his face with cold water.
Then he became fully awake.
“Bull pen, I’ve never been in the bull pen until AAA.”
He didn’t have any intention to stay in the bullpen.
“1 year is enough.’
His intention was to stay in the bullpen for a year, until he got noticed by the others.
He went outside and the warm sunshine blinded him.
“I need to do basic physical training until the instructor comes.”
Gun Choi jogged 3 km around a field.
He didn’t run fast, but he started to sweat and it made him more vigorous.
A custodian and some people looked at him curiously.
‘It must look weird. No Major Leaguer practices in November.’
After jogging, Gun Choi knocked on the door of custodian’s building.
According to the announcement, breakfast started at 8 am.
He knocked twice.
A man finally showed up.
Gun Choi had almost been about to shout.
‘Well, who is this?’
A man with a long beard asked.
“Yes, that’s me.”
As he came in, three people were eating a breakfast at the table.
Bread, soup, and eggs.
It was a very regular breakfast.
The man introduced himself as Hardy, and offered Gun Choi an empty seat.
“Do you need to practice alone?”
Gun Choi shook his head and said.
“An instructor will be here.”
Hardy smiled and put some eggs on Gun Choi’s plate.
The food was not super, but not bad.
“Lunch is served at noon, and there’s no dinner.”
“What? No dinner?”
“There are some restaurants in the town of Reeku, it’s about 3 miles to the south.”
Gun Choi was at a loss because he didn’t have a car.
“I don’t have a car.”
Bank, a custodian of ball field, shrugged and mentioned.
“3km, it is a walkable distance, isn’t it?”
About 30 min walking.
There was no reason not to walk, but an hour round trip was waste of time.
In the middle of Gun Choi’s worry, a message popped up.
-Repetition mission: Walk to the town of Reeku.
Condition: Repeat daily.
Rewards: Points will be given upon completion.
Gun Choi was excited to get rewards only by walking to Reeku.
‘It’s so easy.’
He nodded his head as like he accepted the difficulty.
“You are right. I can walk. It’s not bad, I can even save money.”
Bank was confused.
Bank thought Gun Choi was not an easy match.
Bank wanted to measure him by questioning him. But Bank get puzzled when Gun Choi listened to
“Come with me. I’ll show you a field.”
Gun Choi followed him as he finished breakfast.
Bank opened a fence which was at the far left and talked to him.
“You can use this field until 5pm. When you’re done, or need to leave early, please return the key to the
Gun Choi nodded and got a key.
Gun Choi didn’t have any special feeling towards Bank, but Bank thought Gun Choi was special.
‘Is he the type of person who can’t see anything other than a baseball? If so, he’ll be in the
Major Leagues soon. That type of player enters into the Major Leagues.’
As Bank left, Gun Choi started to practice.
25 meters of running.
Center movement training with one foot.
Long stride position repetition.
Shadow pitching with a towel.
As he finished 5 courses, it was almost 12 pm.
“System, any increased abilities?”
-No increased abilities.
Gun Choi shrugged his shoulder.
“No increased abilities with only one day training?”
In the afternoon, he trained to adapt himself to the Major Leagues official ball.
He tried to get a feeling for its grip by pitching lightly, not by strong pitching.
The Major Leagues official ball had a more slippery surface than a domestic ball. This made lots of pitchers have a hard time.
“I got the feeling for the change-up, but a slider…”
After he finished grip training, he went to the office.
Bank tilted his head as he checked a watch. It was earlier than expected.
“Are you already done?”
Gun Choi nodded and returned the key.
“Because I need to go Reeku.”
Bank told him quietly.
“It is little far, but the trail is a good walk.”
As he hit the road, he could see a sign which said 2 miles to Reeku.
“Ok, let’s go.’
Gun Choi was encouraged at that point so he decided to run.
‘I can reduce recovery time by up to 30% with my skill up. So I can recover within 2 months, instead of 3.’
Even if it’s not supernatural, fast recovery was a blessing for any player.