Seung Hwan Oh Interpreter Talks Pitcher’s Adjustment to US, Perks of the Job

When the Cardinals signed Korean relief pitcher Seung Hwan Oh in January, they knew they had to hire a translator.

Enter Eugene Koo, who first met Oh at his introductory news conference in January and now acts just as much a personal assistant as he does a translator to help get the Korean pitcher adjusted to American culture.

Koo joined The Hollywood Casino Press Box on Friday to discuss a variety of topics surrounding the unique role of MLB player translator.

Read some excerpts and listen to the complete interview below:

How did you become the interpreter?

“I just got lucky. I talked with Oh’s agent about eight years ago…and then it came about he was coming to the United States…He reached out to me and asked if I could do him a favor and join him the press conference. I said, ‘Why not? I want to give it a try.’ I think the Cardinals…and Oh and his agent…were OK with how I did. They asked if I wanted to come in the next day for an interview…After three rounds of interviews, I just got lucky. I can’t explain it otherwise. It’s been great.”

How are you getting along with him?

“He’s a great guy to be around with. I’m a pretty sociable guy…I’m just helping him out here, trying to get him adjusted to the culture, the food, and everyone with the teammates here and the front office staff and the coaches. He’s been easy to talk to. We get a long pretty well.”

What kind of food does he like?

“He wanted to try out everything that was available…we went to different restaurants. He liked pretty much everything. He’s cool with whatever food. It’s been easy for me.”

Koo talked much more about Oh and his adjustment to the United States and new team environment. Listen to the interview here:

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