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Choo’s charity foundation to hold first domestic event

Choo Shin-soo
Choo Shin-soo
South Korean big leaguer Choo Shin-soo will hold his foundation’s first charity event at home early in the new year, the player’s management company here said on Friday.

An official with IB Sports said the newest member of the Texas Rangers and his Choo Foundation will join Child Fund Korea on Jan. 6 in a charity event for underprivileged children and children from multicultural families. The official added that up to four sick children who previously couldn’t afford medical services will receive donations from the Choo Foundation.

The 31-year-old outfielder launched his foundation two years ago jointly with Los Angeles-based Hanmi Bank. Choo, then with the Cleveland Indians, set up the foundation after re-signing with the American League club for $3.97 million, the first time his big league annual salary exceeded the million-dollar mark.

Since then, he has donated $1,000 for every home run and stolen base. Since 2011, Choo has hit 45 home runs and stolen 53 bases.

He recently inked a seven-year, $130 million free agent contract with the Rangers, becoming the highest-paid Asian ever in the majors. He is coming off his most productive big league season, putting up his third-career 20-20 season in homers and steals, and finishing second in the National League in on-base percentage, runs scored and walks for the Cincinnati Reds.

During the 2013 season, Choo was chosen as the Reds’ recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award, presented by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association to players who actively give back to their respective communities. (Yonhap News)

According to IB Sports, Choo is scheduled to arrive in South Korea next Monday for his first appearance here since signing with the Rangers and will leave for the United States around Jan. 12.

The agency’s official said Choo intends to stay committed to his charity activities for disadvantaged children in South Korea.

With his new team, Choo is expected to bat leadoff and play left field. The Rangers, who have won at least 90 games in each of the past four seasons, are hoping the pitcher-turned-outfielder will be the final piece of the puzzle as they chase their first World Series title. (Yonhap News)