Rangers veteran Shin-Soo Choo helps with financially strapped minor league players with the waiting season and gives $ 1,000 to 191 of those in the Texas organization.
Choo said on Wednesday that he remembers the financial struggles when he was in the minors. The 37-year-old defender-designated hitter hopes the gifts will help alleviate the concerns of current minor teachers, most of whom he has never met, allowing them to stay focused on their baseball careers instead of having to find out in ways to make money.
“I’ve done it before, minor leagues, seven years,” said Choo, who was 18 when he left South Korea to join the Seattle Mariners organization before the 2001 season. “I know right now the minor league system is better than 1
Choo is now entering the final year of $ 130 million, a seven-year deal he signed as a free agent with Rangers. He will be the highest-paid Texas player this season at $ 21 million.
When he left home for the United States to pursue his baseball dreams, Choo said, he had nothing. There were some difficult times in the minor leagues, including the 2005 season when there was sometimes no money to buy diapers for his then newborn son.
“Think about 20 years ago, the first time I came from Korea, I have nothing,” he said. “Now it’s a lot that I have because of baseball. … So I want to pay back to other people, especially this difficult situation around the world. I can still help other people, that’s good.”
Choo also made a $ 200,000 donation earmarked for Daegu, South Korea, a city he said was badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s about an hour from where his parents still live, and he said they were fine.
After spring training was interrupted by Major League Baseball in mid-March, Choo said he almost immediately started thinking about the smaller teachers and how he could help them. He talked about it with his wife, who also remembered what it was like for them, and then he reached out to Rangers officials.
Minor leaguer Eli White, who was in the Rangers’ big league camp on a non-playing field, sent Choo a text thanking him and saying that the money would help him and his wife a lot.
Choo’s answer: “Eli don’t worry about money. Just keep playing baseball. Let me know if you need anything more.”
MLB had originally planned $ 400 each week for players with minor league offers just until April 8, the planned start of their season, but this week extended them to the end of May.
Choo made his big league debut with 10 games for the Sailors during the 2005 season. He traded to Cleveland in 2006 and became a full-time full-time service with the Indians after returning from the elbow surgery in late May 2008. His big deal with the Rangers came after his only season in Cincinnati, when he hit .285 and had a .423 base percentage in 2013.