a manual for ‘landing the moon’

⟪Chungcheong-do Baseball won its first national championship…During the Presidential Cup final, 39,000 county residents and Gongju-eup residents gathered in front of Telibi, regardless of gender, and there were few passers-by on the streets…. At the end of the game, they came out in droves into the streets…. Kim Sun-gil of Gongju-eup, who watched the television broadcast from the cafe, said, “I’m proud that it’s only been three years since the foundation, and Gongju from one town won for the first time in his life as a Chungcheong-do team.”. At noon on the 19th, the Daejeon Station Square held a welcoming competition to welcome the athletes with public service, and 100,000 people were covered, and the sky was flown in celebration by spraying five-color pollen…. The village of Gongju, where the athletes arrived, was in a festive mood, with most of the shops closed and residents flocking to follow the players’ car parade….⟫ (Among articles related to the JoongAng Ilbo and Chosun Ilbo from May 17th to 19th, 1977)

On the night of May 17, 1977, all over Chungcheong Province was filled with excitement around Gongju. A few days later, a welcoming event will take place at Daejeon Station Plaza, where 100,000 people flocked to the stadium. The most popular sport at that time was high school baseball, but most of the residents came out to the streets because Gongju’s victory was so special.노래방알바

Chungcheong Baseball created an extraordinary event in which it played the main role on the national stage, which was a competitive game between prestigious baseball high schools in Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Incheon, and Gunsan. It was a three-year-old team that mostly consisted of international students from other regions. The centerpiece of the “underdog” gongju was the fourth batter and catcher Kim Kyung-moon and the ace Oh Young-se. Notably, Kim Kyung-moon has emerged as a star in the spotlight as he received the Presidential Cup Most Valuable Player award and the batting average award (seven hits in 15 at-bats for a 0.467 batting average).

The hero who elevated Chungcheong baseball has returned. It is a place full of memories of his youth in high school. Now he leads the Hanwha Eagles, a professional baseball team that represents the region. Manager Kim Kyung-moon. He has been given the mission to revive the pride of Chungcheong baseball. When I heard the news of his appointment, I realized, “That’s his fate.”

Personally, I learned a lot from the coach while serving as the head of the management team at the NC Dinos. The reason why I brought up the story of his high school baseball 47 years ago in the introduction was because I thought that the coach’s view of life and baseball were connected to the place back then.

In fact, he is not from Chungcheong Province. He left Incheon and moved to Daegu and Busan when he was a child. It was because of his family background, such as the ups and downs of his father’s business. He went to Gongju to study abroad to study, the founding team, because he got a scholarship, so he could play baseball without worrying about his money. I remember going to Busan every once in a while, when I was young and hungry for home-cooked meals. I cried a lot while thinking about my mother breaking up at the platform of Busan Station. By the time he arrived at Daejeon Station, his tears had remained as longing and desperate, and were engraved in his heart. The coach took extra care of players who played baseball desperately by throwing themselves because he remembered the time when he described himself as a “wandering grass” and “wandering.”

In May 1977, Kim was selected as the Most Valuable Player in the “Presidential Cup” that opens the high school baseball season, leading the three-year-old underdog and Gong Ju-go to the first championship in the national league. However, in the qualifying round for the Chungcheong provinces during the Blue Dragon period, the opponent team’s dirty behavior seriously injured the player’s life. The newspaper that announced the victory (bottom right is an article that reported the injury). Photo = Chosun Ilbo Archive

Due to his life-long separation from his family, a major accident that determined his life and death also takes place here. Two months after winning the Presidential Cup, he falls unconscious for five days in the preliminary round of the Chungcheong provinces. The bat swung by the opponent team’s player hits him in the back of the head while watching the catcher. He intended to give balls and check key players. He suffered such a situation in the previous game, and was even taken to a university hospital in Seoul because his life was in critical condition in the second accident. The situation was so big that related articles were published nationwide. The place where he collapsed at that time is now Daejeon Stadium.

This is why he emphasizes sportsmanship and refers to “clean baseball” as a habit, knowing better than anyone else that baseball is a cold-blooded game. “Kim Kyung-moon baseball” does not allow empty balls thrown by opponents’ heads or attitudes and play that do not respect opponents. This is why his baseball team stresses manners among veteran coaches.

There is a saying (Sera Goldhagan, American architectural critic) that “what kind of person we are is deeply related to where we stayed.” Daejeon is like that for director Kim Kyung-moon.

Kim Jong-moon was a former reporter of JoongAng Ilbo and served as the front desk of the NC Dinos baseball team from 2011 to 2021. He became the general manager of the “last place” team in late 2018 and became the first team to win the title two years later. He is currently the Korea Coach Association’s certified coach.

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