Dreaming of making it big in baseball, teenage brothers An Seung-han and An Seung-young traveled hundreds of kilometers away from home to remote Deokjeok island, where the sport and their team, are now the closest thing they have to a family.

The boys are among a few dozen teenagers who have left the bright lights of some of South Korea's biggest cities to join a specialized sports academy set up by Kim Hak-yong, former manager of the elite Dongguk University team that has produced scores of players in the Korea Baseball Organization professional league.

"If I work hard here, I can be a main player, so I'm working even harder. If I keep doing well, I can also become a professional baseball player," 16-year-old An Seung-young, the younger brother, said during a training session.