Monday, 22nd April 2024

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Kang Min-ho’s new history and legends also spoke out

“I’m so proud of you to be on the most field trips in that difficult position.”

The record for most games played in the KBO League has been broken in 2,237 games. The main character is catcher Kang Min-ho (39), who served as the home turf for the Lotte Giants and the Samsung Lions for 21 seasons. This is a significant milestone in that he has set the record for most games played in the KBO League as a catcher who consumes a lot of physical strength and risks injury.

A catcher is a position that consumes a lot of energy. In addition to receiving fastballs from pitchers, he throws the ball repeatedly sitting and getting up. It is also up to the catcher to do bad things, such as preventing wild pitches. Before the rule to prevent home clashes between catchers and runners was enacted in 2016, collisions with runners occurred frequently at home. Kang Min-ho, who overcame all of these and endured them, is still enjoying his 21st year of this year.

Legendary players who dominated the KBO league also showed off their tongue at Kang’s milestone. “A catcher is a position that requires a lot of physical strength. It is all the more valuable and meaningful that he set a new record for playing in the most games as a catcher,” said Park Jin-man, manager of Samsung who played in 1993 games as a national shortstop during his active career.

Manager Yeom Kyung-yeop of LG Twins, who led the team to its first championship in 29 years last year, also said, “My job as a catcher is really difficult. For a catcher to record the most games played in a game is more meaningful than for any other player,” adding, “I achieved it because I managed it well as a player. I hope younger players learn a lot. Congratulations.”

“I’m so proud of you,” said catcher legend Kim Dong-soo, current manager of Seoul High School. “I barely passed 2,000 games at the age of 42, and I’m so proud of you. If I continue to play as healthy as I am now, I’m looking forward to seeing how many games I’ll play when I retire,” Kim said in a telephone interview with this newspaper.

Kim Dong-soo finished 2,000 games as he belatedly started professional baseball after graduating from college (Hanyang University). On the other hand, Kang immediately debuted as a professional after graduating from high school (Pocheol Technical High School), and was able to play more games than Kim Dong-soo at the same age. “Still, it is not easy to play in the primary league as soon as you graduate from high school. However, Kang did it and achieved the milestone by steadily achieving good results. I am truly proud of him,” Kim once again complimented his junior record.

Kang is still on the field as the main catcher. As he is competitive enough, he has no intention of stopping there. “I will work hard to play longer with the sense of duty to let my juniors know that I can play in a professional league if I have any competitive edge,” he said, renewing his commitment from now on.

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