Kim Gwang-hyun and Kim Hyun-soo announce retirement from the national team after being eliminated from the WBC 1st round,
‘Beijing Kids’ must grow as prospects
As the main axis of pitching, which led the heyday of Korean baseball, put down the Taegeuk mark, prompt generational change emerged as a homework task.
After Korean baseball suffered the humiliation of being eliminated in the first round three times in a row at the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), Kim Hyun-soo (35, LG Twins) and Kim Gwang-hyun (35, SSG Landers) announced their retirement from the national team side by side.토토사이트
Kim Hyun-soo, captain of the Korean national team, said after the final round of the first round of the 2023 WBC against China held at Tokyo Dome in Japan on the 13th, “I am finished. This is the last time I will wear a Korean uniform.”
He said, “I’m getting older. I didn’t do well twice in a row at international competitions. It’s time to come down.”
This WBC was Kim Hyun-soo’s 10th tournament with the Taegeuk mark. Kim Hyun-soo has participated in the most competitions ever, based on international competitions in which professional players have participated. He played in 62 career games in international competition, racking up 77 hits and racking up 38 RBIs.
Kim Hyun-soo, who was first selected for the national team at the age of 20 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has been active as the main player in the national team’s batting line for 15 years.
Kim Hyun-soo, who dreamed of a ‘last dance’ in this tournament, performed sluggishly with a batting average of 0.111, and even accepted the disastrous result of Korea being eliminated in the first round.
After returning to Korea on the 14th after finishing the WBC, Kim Gwang-hyun expressed his intention to retire from his national team, saying, “Thank you for supporting the national team Kim Gwang-hyun so far” through his social network service (SNS).
Kim Gwang-hyeon also showed a dazzling performance at the Beijing Olympics, where he participated at the age of 20. In the qualifying round against Japan, he conceded 1 run in 5⅓ innings, and in the semifinals, he conceded 2 runs in 8 innings, repeating himself as the ‘Japanese Killer’.
Since then, he has been an ace of the national team in numerous international competitions. Until this WBC, he participated in 7 international competitions, appeared in 17 games, and threw 59⅔ innings. His record is 5 wins and 4 losses with an earned run average of 3.92.
In addition to Kim Hyun-soo and Kim Gwang-hyun, Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA Tigers), Yang Eui-ji (Doosan Bears), Choi Jeong (SSG), and Park Byung-ho (KT Wiz), who have been active in international competitions, have not announced their retirement from the national team, but considering their ages, this WBC was virtually the last international competition.
For Korean baseball, which has received the report card of being eliminated from the WBC three times in a row, it is necessary to achieve a rapid generational change in order to stand up again.
Kim Hyun-soo expressed his intention to retire from the national team and said, “I think young players will do well. There may be better players than me.”
Kim Gwang-hyun also said in an article expressing his intention to return the Taegeuk mark, “I grew and learned a lot while playing for the national team. I was able to become stronger thanks to international competitions.” .
In order to achieve a generational shift, the ‘Beijing Kids’ who grew up watching the 9-game winning gold medal legend of the Beijing Olympics must grow up.
Lee Jeong-hoo, Kim Hye-seong (Lee Sang-kiwoom Heroes), Jung Woo-young, Kim Yun-sik (Lee Sang-hyung, LG Twins), So Joon Sohn, Kang Baek-ho (KT Wiz), Jeong Cheol-won, Kwak Bin (Doosan), Won Tae-in (Samsung Lions), Lee Eui-ri (KIA) and others are representative ‘Beijing Kids’.
Jang Jae-young (Kiwoom), Moon Dong-ju, and Kim Seo-hyun (above Hanwha Eagles) are also expected to lead Korean baseball.
The Hangzhou Asian Games to be held in September and the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) scheduled to be held in November are opportunities to discover promising players who will play a pivotal role in the generational shift.
There is no age limit for the Asian Games, but the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and the Korea Baseball Softball Association decided to form a team mainly for players under the age of 23 and 3 years of experience in the 2018 Jakarta/Palembang Games due to controversy over player selection. The Hangzhou Asian Games were postponed by one year, so it was adjusted to 24 years old and 4 years or less.
APBC was established with the intention of giving young athletes the opportunity to gain experience in international competitions. At the invitational tournament in 2017, only 24-year-olds and three-year pros were allowed to participate, but a similar standard is expected to be applied this time as well.
Only by discovering young players through the Asian Games and APBC and leading their growth can the pride of Korean baseball be reestablished at the WBC in 2026, which will take place three years later.