‘National Geopo’ Park Byung-ho (36, kt wiz) was omitted from the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) baseball team’s ‘List of Interest’ announced in November last year, and made the final entry on the 4th ( 30) were listed.
Park Byeong-ho is the only player who was not on the preliminary list to be on the final list.
There was a reason Park Byung-ho, the home run king of the 2022 season of professional baseball, was missing from the reserve list.
He suffered a torn ligament in his right ankle during a game in September of last year, and was diagnosed as out of season and advised by medical staff to require surgery.
But a miraculous thing happened. After finishing the 2022 season, Park Byung-ho was diagnosed that his ankle condition had improved enough to not require surgery.
The Technical Committee of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), which looked at Park Byung-ho’s recovery, included him in the final list of 30 players.
With what kind of resolution is Park Byeong-ho, who has dramatically joined the baseball team, preparing for the WBC?
On the 6th, when it snowed white, I heard the story at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do.
“The national team that seemed to be over… I heard a great responsibility”
Park Byeong-ho said, “In fact, after finishing the 2019 Premier 12 competition, I thought I would never be able to wear the Taegeuk mark again.”
He said, “I received a message from the KBO that I was finally selected a few days before the announcement of the final list,” and said, “I had mixed feelings.”
He continued, “I feel joy and excitement, but the sense of responsibility and pressure is also heavy,” adding, “I feel like this because I know what role I have to play.”
In fact, Park Byeong-ho has painful memories of the Taegeuk mark.
Park Byeong-ho suffered sluggish performance in every international competition he participated in. In the 2019 Premier 12, he was silent as he started as the main 4th batsman.
At that time, Park Byung-ho achieved a poor result of 28 at-bats, 5 hits, and a batting average of 0.179 during the tournament.
In particular, he bowed his head with no hits in 4 at-bats in the final against Japan. Korea lost to Japan and finished runner-up.
Park Byeong-ho also received a lot of criticism from baseball fans.
He said, “I vividly remember the way back home in November of that year,” and recalled it as “a difficult memory.”
“If a long hitter hits a home run in an international competition, he becomes a hero, but if he doesn’t, he becomes a traitor,” he said. Wasn’t it?” he continued.
He emphasized, 안전놀이터“There are players like director Lee Seung-yeop who have made scenes like movies, but reality and movies are different.
However, Park Byung-ho said, “What is clear is that I will work harder than ever before.”
Park Byeong-ho’s solemn resolution “This is my last international competition”
Although he did not express his determination with the words revenge and revenge, his expression looked more spleen than ever.
“Because this will be my last international competition,” Park said.
He said, “If I calculate my age and the international competitions to be held in the future, I don’t think I will be able to wear the Taegeuk mark for the last time in this competition.” said.
Park Byeong-ho’s physical condition is still not perfect. He visits Suwon KT Wiz Park every day and undergoes intensive ankle rehabilitation training.
Fortunately, recovery is quick. “There is no problem with hitting, but running and defense are the problems,” he said.
He continued, “I will be 100 percent fit by the spring camp,” and explained, “Technical training started a little earlier than usual.”
Park Byeong-ho expects a beautiful finish.
He said, “When I got on the national team, Ha-seong Kim (San Diego Padres) and Jung-hoo Lee (Kiwoom Heroes), who I played with at Kiwoom, were more than happy and congratulated me.” We shared, and we met with the national team. I hope this tournament will remain as a happy memory.” I expected it.
After the interview, the ground of the stadium where we came out to shoot was covered with snow that had fallen the day before.
When Park Byeong-ho was asked to pose, he did not smile, but made a strong expression and expressed his determination.