“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.”

– 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.”

◆ The story behind Samsung’s ‘losing game’ and Choi Dong-won’s defeat of KS to Lotte

. Have you been hungry for baseball talk? Former director Park Young-gil is originally a talkative person, but his words never stop. He says, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been talking about old baseball, so I’m excited.” After the ecological hotpot was emptied and the place was moved to a nearby coffee shop, the story continued.

– You quit coaching Lotte in 1983 and went to Samsung as a coach.

“JoongAng Ilbo is affiliated with Samsung, and at the time, the JoongAng Ilbo president also served as the Samsung Lions president.

– Come to think of it, this is the first case in the history of the KBO where a former manager became a coach.

“At first, I also had face, so I didn’t want to go to Samsung coaching. It’s not even a coaching position. The president said, ‘Director coaching, what does job title have to do with it?

– What did you say?

“The president said, ‘Would you like to come to the Hankook Ilbo as a director after quitting as the CEO of the JoongAng Ilbo? There were pitchers and the best pitching coach Yoo Man-man decided to come as a coach. He said, ‘Park Young-gil is the best at batting, so he said that it would be nice if I could leave the batting coach to me.’ In the end, I decided to go to Samsung as a coach.”

– What is it?

“When I was coaching the Lotte Giants, an unemployed baseball team, from 1976. Young-deok hyung coached Jangchung High School (1977) before going to coach Cheonan Bukil High School and quit. He asked me, ‘Is there a coaching position at Lotte?’ Eh. He’s older than me, but he said he’d coach under me, so it’s not like that.”

– At that time, wasn’t it a time when the relationship between seniors and juniors was stricter than now?

“That’s why I was even more surprised. It was during the days of unemployment baseball, so players and coaching staff were paid according to their position, just like an office worker. It was a time when I, the manager, was paid a deputy manager’s salary. As a manager, I received a lot of extra allowances, but… I talked to Lotte. He expressed his disapproval, saying that he was 5 years older than the director, but the position and treatment issues were complicated. When I told the story to Yeong-deok’s older brother, he wasn’t sad, but rather said, ‘Thank you for taking care of me when no one takes care of me’. Anyway, from Hanil Bank to the director I thought a lot when I saw a senior who said he would coach Lotte under me. That’s why I started coaching under my older brother, Yeong-deok, who became Samsung coach, even though I was a former Lotte coach.”

If you think of 1984, Samsung’s dark history of ‘losing game’ comes to mind. Samsung, who obtained a direct ticket to the Korean Series by winning the first season league, was blatantly and intentionally defeated by Lotte in the final two games of the second season league to choose a partner, and was criticized by public opinion.

Lotte had Choi Dong-won, the best pitcher of the time. However, with the exception of Choi Dong-won, I judged him to be a worthy opponent. In fact, in the 1984 pennant race, Samsung overwhelmed Lotte with a record of 13 wins and 7 losses. On the other hand, OB was a team that defeated Samsung in the first year and won the Korean Series. In the pennant race, they were pushed back with 9 wins and 11 losses, and when coach Kim Young-deok left the OB in 1983, they developed uncomfortable feelings for each other. In the end, he chose Lotte as his partner instead of OB. As the result is well known, Choi Dong-won won 4 victories by himself, and Samsung again finished runner-up.

– I can’t help but say ‘the losing game’.

“Now that a lot of time has passed, it’s okay to talk behind the scenes. In fact, if Yeongdeok-hyung had listened to me, Samsung might have won.”

– What are you talking about?

“It was a situation where Samsung couldn’t win the championship in the latter league, so we had to play the Korean Series. I remember it as the Shinyang Park Hotel where we stayed during the Gwangju expedition. I had a meeting about whether it would be good. There, I said that it would be better for OB to come up to the Korean Series rather than Lotte with Choi Dong-won. At the time I was coaching the unemployed Lotte Giants, I scouted Choi Dong-won, and in the 1981 unemployment baseball Korean Series, I won the championship with Choi Dong-won. I did. I knew Choi Dong-won better than anyone else.”

At that time, Lotte won the championship with 4 consecutive wins after 2 losses in a row against the accounting team led by Kim Si-jin. Choi Dong-won had already performed such a performance in business baseball before writing a myth of 4 wins and 1 loss in 5 out of 7 games in the 1984 Korean Series.

– I was wary of Choi Dong-won.

“Samsung played Choi Dong-won relatively well in the regular season that year (Choi Dong-won recorded 27 wins, 13 losses and 6 saves in the regular season, but his performance was poor with 2 wins, 4 losses and 3 saves in the match against Samsung), but Choi Dong-won was a relief in the pennant race that year. I was tired of waiting almost every day. At that time, there were many times when I met with Samsung. However, Choi Dong-won, since his amateur days, can be fully charged after only 3 days of rest. In a short game like the Korean Series, he is a pitcher who will say he will throw everything alone….

– OB is a partner in the Korean Series What if you had gone?

At the time, Park Chul-soon was not in the OB due to a back injury, and in fact, except for Jang Ho-yeon (#1 with an ERA of 1.58), Samsung batters were all pitchers to try. Kim Si-jin and Kim Il-yung were pitchers who blocked the OB lineup within 1-2 points. I thought that with left-handed Kwon Young-ho and right-handed Hwang Gyu-bong, no matter who went out, they could win.”

– Then, in the end, coach Kim Young-deok chose Lotte

. You say let’s go to Lotte because it’s a team that has won the championship in the first year? Coach Yoo Man-man and coach Jeong Dong-jin stayed quiet.” – After all, they played the ‘losing game’ and missed out on winning the Korean Series, so

it must have had a huge aftermath.

As I received it, after the Korean series ended, the group thanked me. Someone had to take responsibility, so coach Kim Young-deok and all of our coaches voluntarily resigned. I met with general manager Lee Dal-jong and asked him to send his resignation to the group. But that was a blessing in disguise.”

– What are you talking about?

“Chairman Lee Kun-hee said he was surprised to receive the report. At the same time, he rejected the resignation. He said, ‘How sportsmen like to take responsibility for what they have done’ and said, ‘Companies should work responsibly like sportsmen. ‘. Rather, he said, ‘What kind of support does Samsung need to play baseball better?’, and sent the following year’s spring camp to the LA Dodgers’ camp in Vero Beach, Florida, USA. Samsung was the first major league spring camp in Korea. I went. Chairman Lee Kun-hee is also a great person.”

– If Samsung had won the championship in 1984, Samsung and coach Kim Young-duk’s baseball life would have been completely different.

“Even thinking about it now, it’s regrettable. In 1985, we won both the first and second leagues, eliminating the Korean Series and winning the combined championship, but that was not even counted as a championship. But in the end, they lost to Lotte in the Korean Series in 1984 and Haitai in the Korean Series in 1986, creating an image of a ‘coach who couldn’t win.’ Director Kim Young-deok could not avoid the storm Choi Dong-won and Seon Dong-yeol, and eventually resigned as Samsung coach.”

– From 1987 to 1988, following director Kim Yeong-deok, he was the director of Samsung.

“I also took responsibility as a coach and tried to step down with manager Kim Young-deok. But the club entrusted me with the manager.

Coach Kim Yeong-duk took the baton from 1988 to 1992 at Binggrae (currently Hanwha) Eagles and won the Korean Series four times (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992), but all ended up in second place.

◆ For the development of Korean baseball

– Do you still watch baseball these days?

“If nothing special happens, I watch almost all TV broadcasts. I watch pro baseball and high school baseball you comment on. What else do I want to watch? Watching baseball is my pleasure.” 먹튀검증

– When you watch baseball, don’t you notice many things?

“I don’t know exactly the player’s psychology or situation after watching it on TV, but I can get a rough idea of ​​it when I see the hitters. He seems like a hitter who can hit a home run. But he doesn’t hit that many home runs. He needs to hit more home runs and become a superstar. His batting average is good and his line drive hit is good, but Na Seong-beom has the idea that he will be sent to the outfield unconditionally from batting training. If I had to choose a player who should continue the Korean baseball lineage of home run kings, I would say Na Seong-beom.”

– How about Lee Jung-hoo?

“Lee Jung-hoo is already a superstar. When Lee Jung-hoo comes out at bat, the crowd goes crazy. But if you want to go to the major leagues, you have to hit a fastball in the 160 km/h range to succeed. The bat has to come out faster and more concisely than now. It’s still too long. Even if you hit a 150km ball at will, it’s difficult to hit a ball over 155km without a change in hitting. If you respond in the same style, you have no choice but to be blocked. Park Byeong-ho also struggled in the US because he had little experience hitting a ball around 160km. In the end, the bat was pushed by the ball, resulting in a hand injury.”

– After all, there should be more pitchers throwing 160km per hour.

“How many pitchers in Korea throw 160 km per hour right now? Kiwoom An Woo-jin throws the fastest ball, but it doesn’t happen that it gets caught once, but it doesn’t keep throwing. It’s about 155km. In Japan, too, since Ohtani Shohei went to the U.S., Japanese batters have very little chance to adapt to a fast ball of the 160km range. However, in Japan, there are more and more pitchers with fast balls these days. If Japanese baseball scores 100 points, Korean baseball scores 85 points. I think it’s about a point. The level of batting is, after all, the level of a pitcher. If there are more than 10 pitchers in Korea who throw 160km, Korean baseball will develop rapidly. If there were only 5 or 6 pitchers like Seon Dong-yeol in the 1980s, Korean baseball would be I would have developed faster, but unfortunately there was only one pitcher like Seon Dong-yeol.”

– The WBC will be held soon.

“Rather, I think the members were better during the WBC (World Baseball Classic) in 2006 and 2009. At that time, there were close to 10 players who could compete in Japanese professional baseball or major leagues. Lee Seung-yeop, Lee Dae-ho, Lee Jong-beom, etc. were players who played in Japan, and Players who were active in the major leagues, such as Choi Hee-seop, Kim Seon-woo, and Bong Joong-geun, came to the national team. But how many now? I think Korean baseball will become stronger when there are more players who can play in the major leagues or Japanese professional baseball.”

Former coach Park said, “It’s been a while since I’ve talked about baseball, so I don’t even know how much time passes and it’s fun,” and continued the story until the sun went down. Starting with the secret story of the founding of professional baseball, the truths hidden in the early history, batting theory, etc. have been continuously unraveled. In the end, it was only after we ate dinner at a nearby noodle restaurant that we parted ways.

Former coach Park said, “It must have been three or four years ago that I saw Baek In-cheon with Young-deok hyung.”

“Everyone had a hard time in the early days of professional baseball. At that time, the club’s front desk and high-ranking officials did not know baseball well, so it was an era when managers made the system. At that time, excited spectators threw bottles and filth on the ground during the game… The early members laid the foundation for professional baseball. Until the days of President Jeong Un-chan, there was still a time when KBO invited elders as advisory committee members and talked to each other, but then it disappeared during the time of the president. There may have been an influence of Corona 19. Young-deok hyung was the last It was at the KBO Advisory Committee four years ago that I met. If it doesn’t work now, I think it’s okay to give Kim Young-deok an achievement award at least at a Golden Globe ceremony. Young-deok left, but he has a bereaved family.”

Doesn’t it feel like it’s someone else’s business that the original directors are leaving one by one? At the end of the interview, he expressed his wish, “Now, before I die, I want to pass on everything I can to my juniors.”

“I like high school, and I like middle school and little baseball. If junior leaders call me because they need me, I will be happy to visit them. Since you are commentating on amateur baseball, please rest your feet in the middle. I have been living on baseball food, and I am strong. I want to help when.”

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