LOS ANGELES (Yonhap News) ― South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, who recently made his major-league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers, says he is happy leading a quiet life in his new California home.
Speaking with Korean reporters at his downtown L.A. apartment Thursday, the rookie pitcher said he’s had no problem adjusting to life in the U.S., and has even gained a little weight from eating the home-cooked meals his mother, who lives with him, makes every day.
The 26-year-old is the first South Korean player to make the leap from the Korea Baseball Organization to the big leagues.
Ryu currently lives with his parents and older brother at the five-star Ritz Carlton Residences in the heart of Los Angeles. He bought the $1.8 million home immediately after signing the contract in December. These apartments are a popular dwelling for celebrities, with lavish furnishings such as a rooftop swimming pool and a bar.
With Dodger Stadium just a 10-minute walk from home, Ryu can wake up at 11 a.m. every morning and still have time to feast on his mother’s Korean cooking.
On his days off, Ryu spends time with his father and older brother, practicing his second favorite sport: golf. Though he refuses to share his scores, Ryu claims he has a driving distance of about 290 yards.
Unfazed by the time difference, Ryu remains a diligent watcher of Hanwha Eagles games. He also uses the popular Korean instant messenger Kakaotalk to discuss baseball with his old teammates.
Despite the language barrier, Ryu says he has no problem getting by.
“I mostly communicate using words and phrases I’ve picked up on my own,” he said. “If I need to, I can easily grab a translator or a manager for help.”