It was Park Byung-ho (37-KT Wiz). He quickly recovered from his injury and hit hard upon his return.
In the third week of May, Park batted .455 (10-for-22) with 16 runs, five doubles, and five RBIs in six games. He also had a good on-base percentage (.520) and slugging percentage (.727) with a combined OPS of 1,247.
Ranked second in batting average and tied for first in hits per week. Joa Pharmaceuticals and Daily Sports named Park the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the third week of May. “I’m happy to receive a good award,” Park said, “I’m sorry that I was out with an injury when the team was in a difficult situation, but I’m glad that I was able to come back quickly, and it feels good to receive an award.
Park was sidelined for 10 days after suffering a hamstring strain during a match on March 29. He was initially diagnosed with a hamstring injury that would take three weeks to recover from, but a second opinion revealed that he needed 10 days due to a “micro-injury,” which was heartening. Park returned to training and built his body even faster than that. Park has always been known for his monstrous resilience, and this time was no different.
“Fortunately, I was able to come back quickly because I was injured in an area that takes a long time (to recover),” he said, adding, “There were some people who said it was impossible to come back early because it was a hamstring, but I know my body better, so I thought I could play at this level, so I prepared for it early.”
After returning from his injury, Park appeared in three games as a pinch-hitter before returning to the lineup in the third week of May. He broke the team’s losing streak with a three-hit blast against the LG Twins on the 16th, and then revitalized the offense with a four-game hitting streak against the Doosan Bears on the 19th. Against Doosan on the 21st, he had a three-hit game to lead the team to victory, his first win in a month.
The impact of self-care
Park’s influence at KT is significant. He sets a good example for his younger teammates by taking care of his body. He arrives at the stadium before anyone else, and the sight of him sweating has inspired many younger players to get to work earlier.
Especially this season, he has been accompanying Kang Baek-ho (24), the future of the team, to dispel his “lazy genius” image. Kang followed Park from spring training in February to the World Baseball Classic (WBC) team, and then changed his lifestyle and work hours to follow Park’s lead.
“He’s played a lot of games since he was a rookie, but he’s still young. I wanted to give him some advice because he’s going to be playing for more than 10 years,” he said. “I wanted him to have time to organize his thoughts on the baseball field, even if he had a day off, so I recommended that he go to work early, and he seemed to do well. I hope it will be helpful to Kang Baek-ho in the future,” he laughed.
Taking responsibility for the awkward last place
Currently, KT is in 10th place, the bottom of the table. With injuries and sluggishness in the lineup, it was a difficult situation for Park Byung-ho to lead the batting lineup. But Park is determined. “I think this is the fate and responsibility of a center fielder. Because I am responsible, I am also reflective, and I have a strong feeling that I need to do better,” he said calmly.메이저놀이터
“Right now, we can only focus on winning one game at a time,” Park said, adding, “There is hope because the injured players are returning little by little. The goal is to play our best with the players we have now and create a winning series every time.”