June 16, 2021

Dodgers: A Farewell to Ace and Cultural Phenom, Hyun-Jin Ryu (Dodgers Nation)

When the news broke that Hyun-Jin Ryu had signed with a team not called the Los Angeles Dodgers, a lot of emotions we’re swirling — we had lost our loveable Korean Monster.

If there is one element that has distinguished the Dodgers franchise compared to others, it is their ahead-of-the-curve embrace of racial and ethnic diversity on the field. The most obvious is Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe blazing a trail for black players right through the color barrier. In the 1990s, Hideo Nomo inched open the door for Japanese players that Masanori Murakami unlocked with San Francisco in the ‘60s, thus setting the stage for Ichiro Suzuki to blow it off its hinges in 2001. 

An overlooked area where the Dodgers have been trailblazers has been for Korean pitchers. They can lay claim to the very first, Chan Ho Park, who toed the rubber in Los Angeles from 1994 to his All-Star season in 2001. Park was stellar, but in 2012, the team acquired an even better Korean ace in Hyun-Jin Ryu. 

Read “Dodgers: A Farewell to Ace and Cultural Phenom, Hyun-Jin Ryu” at Dodgers Nation