Aaron Altair (32), who made a name for himself as an athletic outfielder and hit a home run against Clayton Kershaw, played for the NC Dinos of the KBO League in 2020 and 2021. In the beginning of his debut, he struggled a little, but after that, he adapted and played an active role for two years.
Altair’s strengths were his wide fielding range as a center fielder and his slugging power. Although his batting average was not high at 0.275 for two years in the KBO League, he hit more than 30 home runs in both years, recording 63 home runs and 192 RBIs in his career. Because he is not too old, NC put him as a target for renewal even before the 2022 season. As a third-year contract target, the annual salary was the highest for a foreign batter. However, Altair did not respond.
Many expected that Altair would try again in the major leagues, and that there would be a team whose discussions had progressed to some extent. However, contrary to expectations, it was difficult to see Altair in the minor leagues as well as in the major leagues last year. Rather, it was more accurate to say that he had been ‘subjected’ for a year. NC officials even said, “I don’t know” about Altair’s news.
The real Altair faded away from the game and media attention. There were also observations that he might be quitting baseball as it is. However, Altair said, “It’s not retirement,” when he visited NC’s spring camp in February this year. And he started his career again. It’s an independent league, not a minor league, but Altair emphasizes that his career isn’t over.
Altair returned to play in March by signing with the Tri-Cities Valley Cats. The Valley Cats are an independent league team. Every year there are players who get less attention than in the minor leagues, but still do well here and sign with major league teams. Altair also affirmed that his return to the major leagues is the ultimate goal.안전놀이터
In a recent interview with the Times Union, Altair explained, “Last year, I spent time at my home in Scottsdale, Arizona. My baby was born in April. It wasn’t true that I didn’t want to play.”
▲ Altair, which signed a contract with an independent league team, is aiming to return to the major leagues.
Altair continued, “I wanted to run, but I just couldn’t find anywhere to run. But since I gave birth to a child in April 2022, it was a kind of consolation.” Even though I had a difficult time because I couldn’t find my team, it was comforting that I had a lot of time to spend with my family.
He emphasized that returning to the major leagues is a clear goal. “I had a good year (with my family) before coming here. It was definitely nice to be able to spend a lot of time with my family,” Altair said. “That’s the ultimate goal. Ultimately, my goal is to go back to the big leagues. I want to stay in America and have a chance to play again and go back to the big leagues.”
After receiving Philadelphia’s 9th round selection in 2009, Altair made his major league debut in 2014 with Philadelphia. He moved to San Francisco in 2019, and had a batting average of 0.219, 37 home runs, and 150 RBIs in 359 major league games until the 2020 New York Mets. His best season was 2017 with Philadelphia, where he posted a batting average of .272, 19 home runs, 65 RBIs and an OPS of .856 in 107 games. Attention is focusing on whether Altair will ever stand in the major leagues again.