“Oh, that’s good. Will you be the camp MVP?”
On the 10th (local time), Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Florida, USA. SSG players were digesting spring camp training. Pitchers pitched in the bullpen on one side, and fielders practiced defense on the other. A chuimsae like ‘nice’ burst out from both sides. The temperature at 10:30 am on this day was 23 degrees. While it is still winter in Korea, it was early summer here.
SSG has been training in Jeju for the past two years due to Corona 19, and boarded a flight to Florida again this year. The Jackie Robinson Training Complex has been a place I have been frequenting since my former SK days안전놀이터. Jackie Robinson is the first black player in the major leagues. He made his debut on April 15, 1947, in a Brooklyn Dodgers (now Los Angeles Dodgers) uniform, the first black man to break the wall of racial segregation. Throughout the training ground, symbols of Robinson’s uniform number ’42’, which remained permanently absent from all major league teams, are hung.
With mild temperatures and facilities optimized for training, Florida is an excellent spring camp destination. The only drawback is that the journey from Korea is too long. After taking an international flight from Incheon Airport for about 13 hours and 30 minutes, transfer to a domestic flight for another 1 hour and 30 minutes. In addition, it takes 1 hour and 30 minutes by car to reach the training ground. Considering the waiting time for transfers, it takes a full day. This is the reason Choi Jeong, the leading hitter of SSG, said on the 25th of last month, right before leaving Korea, “I hope this year will be the last spring camp held in the United States.”
However, the training environment is good enough to be counted on one hand. The accommodation is inside the training ground, so you can go there in 2 minutes. The route to the locker room and training area is also short. While SSG camped in Korea, a new indoor training ground was also built. At the indoor training ground, SSG plays a familiar song while training. Even at night, athletes come out here and train autonomously. This year is the last year of the contract between SSG and Jackie Robinson Training Complex. Sooner or later you will have to decide whether to continue training here.
Pitcher Oh Won-seok, who visited Florida for the second time, said, “The weather is good and it is an optimal place to exercise,” but “It is certainly far away.” SSG director Kim Won-hyung said, “You can use all the facilities from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. Everyone is satisfied with the fact that there is even an indoor practice field that is not a problem even when it rains.”
SSG will hold the first battery training in Florida until the 26th, and the second battery training with evaluation match at Ishikawa Stadium in Okinawa, Japan from the 28th to March 8th.