“I’m happy to contribute to the baseball players’ long-cherished business.”
Former KIA Tigers coach Seo Jung-hwan (69) has contributed greatly to the development of amateur baseball. The project to build a baseball town with hotel-class accommodation took the lead in taking the first step. “I hope it will be helpful to the students who will lead Korean baseball and those who enjoy baseball themselves,” he said.
A baseball facility engraved with the name of former coach Seo Jung-hwan will be created. Jindo County, South Jeolla Province, held a memorandum of understanding (MOU) ceremony to create “Jindo Seo Jeong-hwan Baseball Town” at the situation room of the Jindo County Office on Tuesday. Baseball players and military officials, including Seo Jeong-hwan, former coach Kim Hee-soo, and Jindo County Office, attended the ceremony.
Jindo Seojeonghwan Baseball Town is a baseball specialized facility that will be built by investing 41 billion won on 117,033 square meters of land in Jindo Arirang Tourist Complex in Sangman-ri, Imhoe-myeon, Jindo-gun. Four international standard baseball stadiums (two for natural and artificial groups) will be built, and tourists can also be attracted by entering a hotel (150 rooms), a town village (60 buildings) indoor practice range, a sauna, and a glamping site.
Former head coach Seo Jung-hwan was busy last year meeting baseball players, public officials, and construction experts. As Jindo County began to attract, things proceeded faster than Seo expected.
“Baseball town construction is a long-cherished project for all baseball players. Jindo Island is suitable for students and baseball club members to use as a training site thanks to its warm weather. From spring to fall, baseball games for amateur players or amateur players will also be held. It has good conditions for sports and pleasant environment to see the sea in front of the town, making it a great tourist attraction,” manager Seo Jeong-hwan said.
The reason why former head coach Seo Jung-hwan played for infrastructure expansion is that he has felt a lot indirectly over the past six years.
After resigning from the KBO league as a game supervisor, Seo coached five to six student players at Jinjeop in Namyangju at the request of his acquaintances. He got good energy from working with dreamers and even had new fun. Talking with his parents during this period, he learned that the current conditions for student players to spend winter are poor. “It costs a lot for four to five people to share a room at a hotel,” Seo said. “Some schools go to Japan or Thailand for field training, but it is very burdensome. That’s why I thought that more facilities for games, training and lodging should be built in the southern part of the country, which was well received by my parents as well. Since then, I have been running around for that purpose.”
The first shovel has not been opened yet. Former coach Seo Jeong-hwan also said, “It is just the beginning.” Currently, the site where the baseball town will be built was the site of a resort. The military unit plan needs to be changed. After that, detailed construction plans should be established. Still, Seo expects the construction to be completed sooner than the completion target (May 2026) that was announced in the press release.
Former coach Seo Jung-hwan thanked Jindo County, which included himself in the official name of the baseball town, and even claimed to be an honorary ambassador. “Jindo County is warm and has many good conditions. Jindo Island will emerge as a major baseball tourist destination and mecca. I want to contribute to this.” I hoped amateur baseball players would be able to play baseball in a better environment.