Blue Jays Fans Fell In Love With Their Newest Pitcher After His First Words
Hyun-Jin Ryu will share a number with Wayne Gretzky.
It's been quite some time since the Toronto Blue Jays have dominated the sports headlines in the city. But that has all changed over the past few days, as the 6ix's baseball team has made serious waves. Free-agent Hyun-Jin Ryu was officially introduced as the Blue Jay's newest member on Friday, December 27 and many fans have fallen for him already.
Ryu, a left-handed starting pitcher, signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the Blue Jays. This is the third-largest contract signed in the history of the team, according to 680 News.
The South Korean player finished second in voting for the National League's Cy Young Award, the top pitching award, after a season of 14 wins, 2.32 ERA, and 163 strikeouts.
When he takes the field in 2020, he'll be the third Korean-born player to do so for.
During his formal introduction to the media, Ryu quickly showed hisby greeting in Canada's two official languages. "Hello Canada, Bonjour," he said.
This interesting introduction was enough for many fans to be completely endeared by Ryu, even at the expense of other players.
"So I see Hyun-Jin Ryu is already my favourite Jay, sorry Bo," one user wrote.
"Omg, Hyun-Jin Ryu is adorable," another fan exclaimed.
It was also announced that Ryu would be wearing 99, a number that is instantly recognizable as that of perhaps the greatest hockey player ever:.
“Canada lent number 99 to LA, so with Hyun-Jin we thought we would return it back to Canada," said his agent Scott Boras at the press conference, referring to Gretzky being traded from Edmonton to Los Angeles in 1988.
Numerous people have noted how Ryu's signing with Toronto will tremendously increase the team's popularity in South Korea.
All the Blue Jays games will be broadcast in his home country in 2020, and even Ryu noted how when he came to Toronto in 2013 he saw the "Korean fervor" of the fans in the city.
While baseball season is still months away, the singing of Ryu and the team's core of Vladimir Guerrera, Bo Bichette and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. may have Blue Jays fans more excited for the next season that they've been for some time.