Choo wins gold medal in Asian Games

Published Nov. 19, 2010 12:00 a.m. ET

Cleveland Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo earned an exemption from South Korea's military service requirement by leading the country to the gold medal at the Asian Games, reported Friday.

Under South Korean law, all able-bodied men must serve two years in the military before age 30. But according to military regulations, athletes who win a gold medal at the Asian Games are exempt from 30 months of conscription.

South Korea defeated Taiwan 9-3 Friday in Guangzhou, China to claim the gold medal, with the 28-year-old Choo driving in two runs and stealing a base.

"Honestly, if [I told you] I didn't think about the military service, I might be a liar. But it wasn't the primary reason to join in the national team. I love baseball, and whenever I put the national flag on the shoulder, I am really proud of my nation and myself," Choo said.

Choo joined the Indians after being traded by the Seattle Mariners in 2006. He has hit .297 in his career so far, with 22 home runs and 90 RBI's last season.