KT Wiz’s Park Byung-ho, 37, injured his left calf on March 9 against the Hanwha Eagles. It didn’t lead to a serious injury, but the pain didn’t go away. Park was unable to play for a while afterward.
However, Park didn’t go down to the second team to rehabilitate. He stayed with the team. He came in as a substitute and tried to give the team a boost in any way he could. KT head coach Lee Kang-cheol advised him to rest, but Park was determined.
On August 31, he batted fourth and designated hitter in the 13th game of the season against the Samsung Lions at home in Suwon. It was his return to the starting lineup after 22 days. While his defense was still a work in progress, his batting was not, and he went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, an RBI, and a run scored. In particular, with Samsung leading 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning, he led off the inning with a wedge solo home run. It was the 11th of the season, and I couldn’t help but say, “Park Byung-ho.
When we met after the game, Park said, “The team continues to play important games. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to pinch-hit, but I didn’t feel bad about it,” he said, adding, “The other players filled in well. I’ve watched them grow from the sidelines. I had a strong desire to return as soon as possible.”
In Park’s absence, Oh Yoon-seok and Moon Sang-chul filled the gap, with the latter making a big impact both on defense and offense. In the month of August, he batted .328 with 21 hits, three home runs, nine RBIs, and 13 runs scored.
Park Byung-ho said, “Not only Oh Yoon-seok and Moon Sang-chul, but also the other players worked very hard. They prepared more than anyone else. When you get a chance like this, you have to show what you have. I was so grateful to be on the sidelines and kept cheering. It’s good that it worked out. She was stable in defense, so I didn’t have any problems. The hitting was a bonus, I hit really well. Thanks for the energy,” he smiled.
In fact, KT had a rough start to the season. On June 2, they had 16 wins, 2 draws, and 30 losses and were in last place with a -14 win-loss margin. But not anymore. They’re now in second place in the league with 63 wins, 47 losses, and 2 draws. Step by step, the team has rebounded and is now overtaking the top spot.
“In April and May, we lost a lot and it was hard,” Park said. “As time went on, we were winning tight games, scoring runs when we needed to score runs, and the pitchers were shutting them down,” Park said. “As time went on, we were winning tight games, scoring runs when we needed to score runs, pitchers were shutting them down, and we realized, ‘Hey, we’re getting better as a team, and even if we lose the lead, we can keep up, we don’t have to give up.’
“It gave them a lot of positive energy. I think they’re enjoying the game. Even the coach jokes around a lot, even when we’re losing.” “It’s fun to be around these guys. We’ve had a lot of tight games in the heat of the day. I think everyone would like to share this atmosphere.”메이저놀이터
Finally, Park said, “Actually, I’m not in perfect shape yet. It’s hard to say in percentages. I’m hoping to get better as I play. I don’t know when I’ll get sick, but I want to play a good game every time I step up to the plate.”