Reply 1994: Chilbongie + Yogi = ♥

vlcsnap-2013-12-04-08h08m19s115Here is my 100th post – dedicated to Yogi and Chilbongie – a combo almost as good as chocolate and peanut butter

The bolded quotes are from Yogi Berra, baseball player and later, manager of the Yankees. He was most famous for things he said. Some of which make no sense, but somehow they do.

Wiki tells us just how successful a player Yogi was:  “a Fifteen-time All Star, winning the AL MVP three times, in 1951, 54 and 55. He played in 14 World Series and holds numerous World Series records including most games by a catcher (63), hits (71), and times on a winning team (10), first in at bats, first in doubles, second in RBI’s, third in home runs and BOB’s. Yogi also hit the first pinch hit home run in World Series history in 1947.”

I like that Chilbongie picked him as a mentor or role model. I hope that Yogi’s past accomplishments hint at where the story takes our young pitcher’s future…on and off the field.


The writers have singled out Chilbongie as the only child from a broken marriage. His life has been the most challenging of all the students at the boarding house, but we don’t see him as broken.

If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.

While a positive outlook helped him do well with sports, Chilbongie is far from being a complete person. In fact, from the beginning of the series, he has been the character with the biggest opportunity for growth.

a3Chilbongie is a lonely being, and my heart goes out to him for that.  He did not grow up in a warm, hugging household. We know his mom loves him, but from a distance. Remember Mom’s wedding day? Rather than actually calling her son to tell him how grateful she is to have him in her life, she left him an outgoing message on her beeper number.

a1Now that’s removed.    And even though he plays down his parents’ divorce, it probably had a bigger impact on him that he has admitted.

You can observe a lot by just watching.

Raised by a successful working mom, he grew up as “the man of the house,” a boy who was sensitive and responsive to his mother’s moods. When mom came home exhausted from work, he trained himself to be cheerful around her to avoid burdening her. He tells Najung how he made his own raymyun on nights mom worked, so that means he was alone often.  This kid grew up a lot faster than most, and never complained.

You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.

And Dad? We have rarely heard him mentioned at all, not even hints from Bingie. This indicates Dad was NOT the type who hung out, played catch and generally encouraged his son growing up. We do know Dad is generous with financial support of the baseball team.  I suspect CB has worked so hard on his baseball skills all those years as a way of getting and holding his father’s attention and respect.

Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.

His father may have lived vicariously though his son’s success. (Most parents do, we can’t help it!)  As with so many children who work for a parent’s attention, however, they succeed in their specialty and earn everyone else’s love, but they never seem to think they have achieved enough to earn the parent’s love.  It could simply be that the parent doesn’t know how to praise, or is afraid if he/she says something positive that the child will stop working as hard as they do.

a2Whatever the cause, the result is a person who stands at the top of the heap, garnering affection and acclaim from all over, but who hungers for genuine warmth from someone who may never provide it.

It’s deja-vu, all over again.

Imagine, then, his experience with Najung – not only doesn’t she know of his skills initially, once she finds out just how good he is, she doesn’t care to the point where she tries to convince him to switch to basketball!

a4My hunch is his upbringing explains why he sees Najung’s disinterest not with soul-crushing disappointment, but as encouragement to keep trying.

The other teams could make trouble for us if they win.

The trained athlete welcomed Oppa as a competitor for Najung’s heart. He measured himself against Trash, admitted it would be difficult to prevail with such a rival, but refused to give up.

a10Fact is, Trash is more than a little worried about Chilbongie, too. Oppa’s jealousy proves even he must admit the kid has something.


 If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.

Like a lot of athletes at his level and age, he is struggling with the academic responsibilities of being a college student. Attending classes and studying are an afterthought.

a7Watching him throw the tantrum about his stupid homework really grabbed my attention. If he doesn’t take responsibility soon, apply himself to his education, things will get a lot tougher. All I could think was, “Honey, if you think THIS is hard, wait for Life after Baseball.”

If you come to a fork in the road, take it.

For the next few episodes, we may need to prepare ourselves for some (more) Chilbongie failure and sadness.

a9Good news is, I think Chilbongie will learn from whatever he has to deal with.

Like all the others on Team Chilbongie, I want to think that the Oppa/Najung phase will pass. That Mean Old Nasty Mr. Life will test the Boy, and the Man will emerge from the experience. Someone who eventually Najung will come to value and love. Whether she marries him or not, that’s gravy.

a6I believe whatever happens in his romantic life, Chilbongie was not made to stay down.

Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting.

He is a good character to root for, and with every fiber of my being I want him to be happy.  I hope to God the writers do, too!


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10 Responses to Reply 1994: Chilbongie + Yogi = ♥

  1. Mashimomo says:

    As a baseball fan, I’m loving all the baseball metaphors on the show and your analysis added another layer to this, thanks! It is given that Chilbongie is competitive given his athleticism, but as you pointed out they made him to be the lonely child with a dysfunctional family and it would make sense for him to do well to gain his parent’s attention, which eventually lent itself to his one-sided love with Na-jung. I can’t help but root for Chilbong, and your feelings share mine as well. Not necessarily for him to end up with Na-jung, but for him to find contentment and happiness in the end.

  2. ppyong says:

    Thank you for this analysis, it was beautifully written and well thought out. My eyes are brimmed with tears.

    I really do hope that Chilbongie will be further developed in the coming episodes, because I’d like see that Chilbongie that we saw at the beginning of the series again, the one relaying that bittersweet message to his mother on her wedding day. There’s so much potential there for his character to grow, and I think now is the right time, especially if they’re going to be developing Trash oppa and Na Jung’s relationship.

    I don’t want to see Chilbongie the star baseball pitcher, nor do I want to see Chilbongie the puppy in love, but I want to see Chilbongie as who he is, Kim ____ Joon. Hopefully the writer will give us that *crosses fingers*.

  3. nomad says:

    Love, love how much thought you’ve given about CB. To be honest, until you write about him in such a deep well versed way, all I felt about him was…”this boy touched my heart,” without understanding fully why. Your writing gives me THAT understanding. I so want him to succeed, and believe that he will. The way his face still lights up in 2013 scenes confirms that, I think. This boy will still be the kind who’d stand up 100 times after falling 99 times.

  4. bogosipeoyo says:

    thank you!! thank you for writing down reasons as to why i connect a little bit more with chilbong’s character.

    loved this line the most as it defines him very well.
    “Chilbongie was not made to stay down”

  5. linh says:

    actually Chilbong picked Yogi because his friend told about him, do you remember the scene he picks up the apology phone from his jealous friend at the end of ep 13?

    • jomo143 says:

      Yes, his friend told him about him, but it was still Chilbongie’s choice.
      He could have picked all the other baseball player, mostly pitchers, he told Najung about, but went with Yogi – a catcher and batter. The partner and nemesis of the pitcher.

  6. nomad says:

    Just wanna share this video…Friendships…the best part of Reply series…

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