Ra-kyung Kim, a right-handed pitcher on the National Team, is completely dedicated to the revitalization of women’s baseball in Korea.
Just Do Baseball is the name of the team that was created by the 22-year-old pitcher who made her debut with the National Team when she was just 15 years old. “All I can do is hope that doors will start to open for us, to at the very least establish conditions in which we can enjoy baseball,” he said.
She established a team that plays under the moniker JDB (Just Do Baseball) and launched a fundraising initiative by using the Tumblbug platform for crowdsourcing.
JDB was able to generate Korean won 5 million (about $4,109 USD) thanks to the sale of a variety of things, including a t-shirt featuring the Haebee mascot. The name Haebee is derived from the Korean word for sun, which is pronounced hae, and the word for bee.
Despite having an excellent start, JDB does not receive many opportunities to perform in Korea. As a result, Kim made the decision to relocate to Japan in order to play in the industrial leagues there.
“I used to assume that women’s baseball is so unpopular because not many girls were interested in baseball,” Kim told the Japan media. “I used to think that women’s baseball is so unpopular because it’s so sexist.”
“But in point of fact, I don’t believe that to be correct. Girls have difficulty believing that they can play baseball due to the limited number of options available to them, and as a result, many give up trying to pursue a career as a professional baseball player.”
She went on to say that “There are over one thousand different females who play baseball. This number is virtually on par with that of women’s volleyball, which is now the sport with the greatest number of participants. There are currently 49 teams registered across the country, and there are approximately four social league competitions held per year.”
Kim has high expectations that her initiative will contribute to the revitalization of women’s baseball
“I just have to keep hoping that doors will start to open for us, making it possible for us to at least be in a setting where we can enjoy baseball. It would be wonderful to begin with a baseball field specifically for women, so that young ladies could try out the sport without feeling any kind of pressure.”
Kim’s older brother was the one who first got her interested in baseball, and in 2015, at the age of 15, she made her debut for the Korean National Team, becoming the youngest player to ever represent the country in women’s baseball. In following years, she made history by being the first woman to ever compete in the University League.
Winning the game against Pakistan was one of Kim’s contributions to Korea’s sixth-place result at the 2016 WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup.
At the 2018 WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup, Korea finished in 10th place. She was responsible for two wins for Korea, including victories over the Netherlands in the first round and Hong Kong in the consolation round.
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