“Now, am I the only fresh person left?”
Younggil Park (82). He was the manager of the Lotte Giants in the first year of the KBO. A corner of my heart is empty and sad at the news of the passing away of former manager Kim Young-deok, a veteran baseball player who shared the joys and sorrows of an era recently.
OB Bears were invited on the 21st of last month following the passing away of Samsung Lions’ first coach Seo Young-moo (1934-1987), Haitai Tigers’ first coach Kim Dong-yeop (1939-1997), and Sammi Superstars’ first coach Park Hyeon-shik (1929-2005). Head coach Kim Young-deok (1936-2023) also closed his eyes. Now, out of the six coaches of the first year of the KBO League, only two are still alive. This is Baek In-cheon (81), who was the first coach and player-manager of Park Young-gil and MBC Blue Dragon.
However, former coach Baek is currently in a situation where his movement is uncomfortable and his speech is difficult due to the aftereffects of a cerebral infarction. In fact, former manager Park Young-gil is the only coach in the first year who can vividly testify to the first year of professional baseball. He was born in 1941 and is also the oldest surviving KBO first manager.
On the 5th, a day after Ipchun, we met at the main gate of the National Gugak High School near Director Park’s house in Gaepo-dong, Seoul. Director Park said, “A hot ecological bath is perfect for this kind of weather,” and led the reporter to a nearby ecological bath house.
◆ Achilles tendon rupture after overcoming rectal cancer
. Spring has come, but it is not spring yet. The frigid weather, which ranged up and down 10 degrees below zero, has eased, but the wind at the end of winter is still cold. What is colder than the wind is the heart. In September of last year, the obituary of Lee Jae-hwan, the former president of the first pitcher Lee Jae-hwan (the original MBC Blue Dragon pitching coach), who formed a battery during Kyungdong High School with Baek In-cheon, flew in, and as soon as the year changed, the news of the death of former coach Kim Young-deok was conveyed, making a corner of baseball players cold. made.
“The ecological bath here is delicious. Today is Sunday, so there are few customers, but people line up for lunch on weekdays.”
The strong, stern voice was still there. Park Young-gil was a hard hitter who served as a national team player for 14 years from 1962 to 1975 and formed the national team’s center batting line with his motive, Kim Eung-yong. In the 1963 Asian Baseball Championship, when Korean baseball defeated Japan for the first time in history and won the championship, he was called ‘Jwa Young-gil-Woo Eung-yong’ and played an active role as a representative star of Korean baseball.
At the age of 30, when he heard the voice of an old man and retired, Park Young-gil was so different from others in his skills and stamina that he played as the longest-serving player until the age of 35. He swept various batting titles during his professional baseball days and boasted his sophistication and long hitting power enough to share the home run king with Kim Eung-yong. In addition to his outstanding skills, he was also a top hitting theorist. In 1987, when he was coaching the Samsung Lions, he wrote the myth of a team batting average of 30% for the first time in KBO history. .
In fact, he is not in good health either. He has a history of undergoing colorectal cancer surgery in the past. Just a few years ago, he had a great body, but recently his face has lost a lot of weight. Age well past eighty. He couldn’t help but ask about health.
- You’ve had rectal cancer surgery, right? Are you okay?
“I had surgery in 2010. It’s been over 10 years now, so it’s okay.”
- You seem to enjoy eating something like this spicy ecological soup.
“It’s fine as long as it’s raw. Now my body has adapted to a certain extent, so I can eat whatever it is. But if I eat sashimi or raw food, I get diarrhea. I don’t have a job, so I can’t catch it. It’s embarrassing when I have to urgently find a bathroom on the road. Other than that, it’s okay. “
- He was limping while walking a moment ago.
“About 3-4 years ago, I went to Gangwon-do with my friends and got into a car accident on the way back. A car was standing in a tunnel in a blockage, and a car behind me didn’t look ahead, so it ran straight ahead and crashed into my car. It was in the back seat. I was sitting and my left leg was pushed under the seat in front of me, and I tore my Achilles tendon.”
- Walking will be very uncomfortable.
“It’s inconvenient, but it’s enough to climb slowly and exercise in the nearby shallow mountain.”
◆ One pot meal for 3 years… Remembering Kim Young-duk,
Park Young-gil has a deep relationship with the late former director Kim Young-duk. In the first year of professional baseball, he started wearing a different uniform as Lotte and OB coach, but from 1984 to 1986, he ate a pot of rice with the Samsung Lions for three years. After coach Kim Young-deok led OB until 1983, he took over as Samsung coach and called Park Young-gil, who had put down the baton at Lotte after the 1983 first season due to poor performance, as hitting coach. Park Young-gil succeeded Kim Young-deok and served as the Samsung headquarters from 1987 to 1988.
-Director Kim Young-deok passed away.
“I found out too late. Is that the day of my burial? I was watching the YTN news and I saw it in the subtitles. I was surprised. Didn’t Yeongdeok-hyung’s cell phone have my phone number? I didn’t even get an obituary text. That’s why I couldn’t go to my condolences.”
- In the first year, 4 out of 6 coaches passed away.
“I feel that time flies. I feel sad that everyone passed away so early. Senior Park Hyeon-sik was born in 1931, so he was 10 years older than me, senior Kim Yeong-duk and senior Seo Young-moo were 5 years older, and senior Kim Dong-yeop was 1 year older. Kim Eung-yong-do By the way, I was originally born in 1940, but I was registered as 1941 on my family register. At the time, it was common to send the army late. Baek In-cheon was one year younger than me, but I heard that he had two years of kneeling when he was young. Now, 4 out of 6 directors in the first year I’m going to heaven and only Baek In-kun is alive with me. As I said earlier, it seems like I’m the only fresh guy. Baek In-cheon is also in poor health due to a cerebral infarction, so I have to be careful…”
- Do you have many memories with the deceased?
“We lived together from 1984 to 1986 when we were at Samsung. It was an apartment with three rooms, but Youngdeok hyung used one room and I took the other. It was between.”
- When was your first memory of director Kim Young-deok?
“In 1964, I heard that a Korean-Japanese player named Kim Yeong-deok was coming to Korea. He was also a pitcher who played in the first team of the Nankai Hawks (now Softbank predecessor) of the Japanese professional baseball league. He said he would join the Shipping Corporation. I joined Namseon Electric in 1962. But the team name changed to KEPCO in 1964. Around April of that year? The unemployment league opened, and I saw them play against other teams before facing our team.” 안전놀이터
- What pitcher were you?
“I was a sidearm pitcher. I wasn’t a fastball pitcher, but I was a pitcher with amazing control and breaking pitches. In Korea, pitchers at that time only had two pitches, a fastball or a curveball. .At that time, there was no pitcher throwing a slider in Korea. Everyone said it was hard. It was great to record an ERA (ERA) in the 0-point range with that ball. He played a perfect game and got a no-hitter.”
Kim Young-deok created an immortal record with an ERA (ERA) of 0.32 in the 1964 Unemployment Federation match, when the pennant race system was first introduced, creating a sensation from the first year. On September 25 of that year, he threw a big shock wave in domestic baseball, which was in its infancy, by achieving a perfect game against Chohung Bank. On September 17, 1967, when he was working at Hanil Bank, he recorded three no-hit no-runs, including the match against Nonghyup in the unemployment league.
- Didn’t Seon Dong-yeol record an ERA in the 0-point range three times during the professional baseball era (0.99 in 1986, 0.89 in 1987, and 0.78 in 1993)? Was Kim Yeong-deok’s appearance at that time like that?
“It was even more amazing. Seon Dong-yeol had ace-level players on each team in the professional era, and among them, his skills could be said to be one of the best in the military, and Kim Young-deok was a pitcher of a type that did not exist in Korea. You can say that the best players in Korea are about level 4. Since they came from playing in Japanese professional baseball, they knew more about baseball than the coach and had higher numbers.”
- Was that enough?
“At that time, there were almost no sidearm or underhand pitchers. It was a time when the coaches said not to throw underhand. Korean-Japanese pitcher Shin Yong-gyun introduced the underhand sinker to Korea, while Kim Yeong-deok pitched sidearm and pitched the slider. He was a pitcher who spread the word to Korea. Because of Kim Young-deok, the perception of sidearm and underhand pitchers in domestic baseball has changed. Pitchers learned the type of pitch called the slider, and hitters’ skills improved greatly.”
- How was Kim Young-deok’s pitcher’s slider?
“When it flies towards the right-handed hitter’s body, batters step back for fear of being hit by the ball. But it curves into the middle and becomes a strike. If you swing a bat at the ball in the middle, it would flow outward and miss the swing. Because I threw, batters couldn’t hit pitcher Kim Young-deok’s ball.”
- Didn’t the coach also target pitcher Kim Young-deok?
“Haha. I’m proud of myself, but I was the batting champion a lot, and perhaps because I was a left-handed hitter, Yeongdeok was a hitter who hit the slider well. Youngdeok hyung kept getting hit by me, so later he asked me, ‘Did you know every time I threw a slider?’ . Then I said, ‘I closed my eyes and hit it.’ Anyway, Youngdeok hyung was a pitcher with amazing control.”