“He’s more than a fan to me. It’s a huge boost.”
Foreign pitcher Ariel Furado, ahead of the start of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against KT at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 27th, looked at the crowd and smiled happily.
Because ‘they’ were there. On this day, Hurado fought hard against KT, giving up 4 hits and 1 run in 5 innings and won the victory. 2nd win of the season (3 losses). ‘They’, who were seated on one side of the crowd on the first base side, applauded and cheered whenever Hurado’s strong pitching continued. The identities of those who generously cheered Hurado are the Panama embassy staff. A native of Panama, Furado made his KBO League debut this season. Furado is the third KBO leaguer from Panama after Lenin Picota (former Hanwha) and Christian Betancourt (former NC).
Hurado visited the Panama embassy to handle administrative tasks such as visa issuance ahead of the season opening, and at this time, he came to have a relationship with the embassy staff. In Panama, baseball is called ‘the national sport’. The embassy staff were very happy to hear that a player from their country was going to play in the KBO League this year, and they did not hesitate to say good things to Hurado. At the same time, on the day Hurado goes to the mound, he promised, ‘I will definitely go to cheer’.
The promise was immediately kept. 17 Panama embassy employees visited Hurado’s KBO League debut on the 4th. Panamanian Ambassador to Korea Athanasio Cosmas Shipaki was also present at the stadium. At that time, Hurado pitched well, allowing 3 runs in 6 innings, but was unable to receive support from his teammates and became a losing pitcher. However, the embassy staff encouraged him, saying, “It’s okay. It was an excellent pitch.” After the game, a commemorative photo was taken with Hurado and the embassy staff on the ground. Even after that, Panamanian embassy staff always accompanied him on the climb of Gocheok Dome in Hurado. Holio Gudrich, an embassy employee, said, “It is an honor and thrill for a Panama player to play in Korea.”먹튀검증
In fact, the key to foreign players entering a foreign land is cultural adaptation. However, the staff at the Embassy in Panama are giving Hurado various tips for living as a foreigner in Korea and the differences between Korea and Panama. Is it because of the support of the national fans? Hurado played 5 or more innings in all 5 appearances this year, and shut it down with less than 3 earned runs. The average ERA is also in compliance with 3.14. It is no exaggeration to say that the team’s performance in one season in the KBO League depends on foreign pitcher ‘farming’. The Kiwoom club will also actively cooperate with the embassy staff’s visit to the stadium.
After the match against KT, Hurado said, “To me, I am more than a fan. “I couldn’t watch it, but I saw them cheering and waving the Panama flag on TV. I was proud of it,” he said. Hurado added, “I feel like a player representing Panama.”