Kang Jin-sung, who dreams of emergency, training with ‘father’

Infielder Kang Jin-sung (31, SSG Landers), who trained with his “father,” dreams of a spectacular emergency.

Kang had a private training at Dongdong Elementary School in Seoul in December last year. Kang’s father, Kang Kwang-hoi, 56, was by his side as he headed to his alma mater during an inactive period when his team’s group training was banned. Kang, who has been serving as an outfielder in the KBO League since 1995, is a “professional” who played as an outfielder. Kang was coached by his father on a sweatshirt at an elementary school practice range.꽁머니

In June 2020, KBO prepared the so-called “Kang Jin-sung bylaws” that “a referee who has a father-son relationship with a player cannot see the referee in the game of the team to which the player belongs.” Kang Kwang-hoe was not able to participate as the referee in his son’s game afterwards. “My father continued to monitor the game I played in. We talked a lot about the couple who were late in timing,” Kang Jin-sung said. “He gave me a lot of baseball advice since I was young, and I think his father’s words helped me make up for my shortcomings.”

Kang’s baseball life is like a rollercoaster itself. He hit 0.309 with 12 homers and 70 RBIs for the NC Dinos in 2020, jumping to the starting lineup eight years after his debut in the first division. His story of “waiting for the win” drew more attention as NC won its first integrated championship in the same year. However, the team was sluggish the following year. In December 2021, he was appointed as compensator for outfielder Park Geon-woo, who was recruited as a free agent, and changed his uniform to the Doosan Bears. In May last year, he traded to SSG in exchange for pitcher Jungwoo Kim.

“He had four hits in a game until August, when his pace was good, but he had pain in his left side,” Kang said. “He had some pain in preparing for the game, but because of that, he failed to display 100 percent of his performance. I was disappointed that his team failed to win in the postseason as well.” Kang had a batting average of 0.283 in 47 games through August after the transfer. However, he had no hit in 11 times at bat since September. SSG, which entered the PS in the third place, encountered NC in the semi-playoff, and was eliminated in all three games.

Kang is currently working out at the 2nd tier spring camp. “I have recovered well without any pain since December,” Kang said. “I wanted to learn a lot from Choo Shin-soo (who is about to retire) but it’s too bad that I couldn’t. However, baseball is the same wherever you start. As the season is important, I think the first priority is to build a body that can play well during the season.” “My bat speed dropped in the second half of last year, and I will make up for this weakness in the camp. I need to overcome (the competition) through training and skills.”

Kang has one more strong supporter. It is Sohn Si-heon, manager of SSG’s second team. He played for NC for six years until his retirement in 2019. He is one of the SSG officials who knows Kang better than anyone else. “He was a senior to me. It’s amazing to meet him again, and I try to follow him,” Kang said. “I felt the importance of taking care of my physical condition once again last year. I will pay more attention to preventing injury.”

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