Heo Gu-yeon (72), KBO president, has been called ‘Huffra’ ever since he was a commentator. He is a nickname given to him while repeatedly emphasizing the importance of building baseball infrastructure by pouring bitter sounds into the poor stadium environment. In fact, President Heo took over as the chairman of the KBO Baseball Development Committee, running around regardless of time and place, leading to the construction of new professional baseball stadiums in Gwangju, Daegu, and Changwon in the 2010s, and even in Daejeon, which is scheduled to open in 2025.
Even after he became the first baseball president in the spring of last year, he continued to lead the way to build infrastructure. The baseball center was conceived as a venue for competitions, training, education, youth development, and performance improvement by gathering baseball-related infrastructure in one place.
President Huh said, “There is no baseball camp for children. Compared to soccer, the number of children who play baseball is small, so we shouldn’t leave it like this. In order to expand the base of baseball, we need a space where children can play freely스포츠토토. We will create baseball centers in each region to expand the base and prepare for children to enjoy many benefits without spending a lot of money.”
President Heo’s plan was realized within one year of his inauguration. In August of last year, KBO launched a contest for local governments to build a baseball center. We found a local government with infrastructure such as more than two baseball fields, an indoor practice field, a weight training center, and additional facilities and accommodations related to education. After a comprehensive evaluation of the operation plan, including the willingness of local governments to participate, regional accessibility, additional facilities and suggestions, Gijang-gun in Busan, Boeun-gun in Chungcheongbuk-do, and Hoengseong-gun in Gangwon-do were finally selected as baseball centers through on-site inspections.
On the 9th, a baseball center operation agreement ceremony was held with three local governments at the KBO Hall in Dogok-dong, Seoul. Along with Governor Heo, Gijang-gun Governor Jeong Jong-bok, Boeun-gun Governor Choi Jae-hyung, and Hoengseong-gun Governor Kim Myeong-ki signed the agreement.
President Huh said, “It is a place where the three local governments announce their unity for the sake of coexistence in revitalizing the local economy and developing baseball through baseball.” We plan to carry out various programs to improve the future competitiveness of Korean baseball, such as training on basic skills by player age and position, and training camps for excellent players.”
A detailed operational plan was also drawn up. President Huh said, “Expand programs to expand the base of baseball, such as T-ball supply, children’s baseball camp, club baseball, college club baseball, and women’s baseball, and establish it as a regional base baseball cluster through player, coach, and umpire education and R&D activities. We will build a stable baseball ecological base centered on,” he explained. We will continue to strive for continuous growth and new leap forward.”
The heads of the three local governments also expressed their gratitude to the KBO and promised interest and support so that the baseball center could become a mecca as a regional base. Jeong Jong-bok, governor of Gijang-gun, said, “We will do our best to make the baseball theme park being built by our county go beyond Korea and become an international baseball mecca that leads the development of baseball.” It will be helpful. We will actively cooperate so that there is no inconvenience in various training and education of the KBO.” Hoengseong County Mayor Kim Myeong-gi said, “Gangwon-do is a baseball wasteland, but it will grow well into a baseball mecca that encompasses the metropolitan area. I will respect President Heo Gu-yeon’s wishes and repay him.”
In recent years, a sense of crisis has been rising in Korean baseball due to sluggish international competitions and poor performance. Due to the continuous decrease in birth rate, the grassroots are shaking from youth baseball to difficulties in supplying players. In the era of low birth rate, expanding the base has become a task of the times in the baseball world. It is expected that the KBO Baseball Centers created in the three local governments will serve as a foundation and foundation for the development of baseball in the new era.