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Journeyman pitcher Choi Hyang-nam joins Austrian club

2015/03/10 08:32

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean pitcher Choi Hyang-nam will extend his globe-trotting career in Austria, officials said Tuesday.

The 43-year-old journeyman has signed with the semi-pro club Wr. Neustadt Diving Ducks, according to a former official with Goyang Wonders, a defunct South Korean independent club, the last team here for Choi.

Bleacher Wisdom, a website providing information on Austrian baseball in English, also introduced Choi as a new member of the Diving Ducks. The website said Hwang Gun-joo, a former teammate of Choi's on the Wonders, has also joined the Austrian club.

Choi is a veteran of 15 seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and also has three Triple-A seasons in the United States under his belt.

He has a career KBO record of 54-70 with 24 saves in 293 appearances, with a 4.05 ERA. He has pitched for the Triple-A affiliates for the Cleveland Indians and for the Los Angeles Dodgers, with a 18-9 record in 79 appearances with a 2.81 ERA. He also had a stop in Japan with an independent club.

A promotional poster for the Austrian baseball club Wr. Neustadt Diving Ducks shows the team's two new South Korean players: Hwang Gun-joo (L) and Choi Hyang-nam (R). (Photo courtesy of the Diving Ducks) (Yonhap) A promotional poster for the Austrian baseball club Wr. Neustadt Diving Ducks shows the team's two new South Korean players: Hwang Gun-joo (L) and Choi Hyang-nam (R). (Photo courtesy of the Diving Ducks) (Yonhap)

In 2008, Choi famously signed with the St. Louis Cardinals after his KBO club, Lotte Giants, accepted the posting fee of US$101. Choi is the first South Korean to sign with a big league club through posting, though he never reached the majors with the Cardinals.

The Diving Ducks have another South Korean connection with their manager Ha Seung-jun, a former high school player and an interpreter for foreign players for the Lotte Giants.

jeeho@yna.co.kr

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