In the Korean national baseball team, the performance of left-handed pitchers has been outstanding. Before the launch of the KBO League in 1982, Lee Seon-hee (68) performed brilliantly whenever he played against토토사이트 Korea and Japan. In the 2000s, when professional baseball players competed in international competitions, Jin-Woo Song (57) and Dae-Sung Koo (54) played as all-weather clubs.
In each international competition, the left-handed ace continued to play an active role. Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) and Kim Gwang-hyeon (35, SSG Landers) successfully debuted at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Subsequently, Yang Hyeon-jong (35, KIA Tigers) played a brilliant fight at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, opening the era of the ‘left-handed troika’.
Since then, Ryu Hyun-jin, Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong have led the revival of Korean baseball for over 10 years. There was no stage where the three played together, but if one was absent due to injury or other reasons, another pitcher filled the vacancy.
The World Baseball Classic (WBC), called the ‘Baseball World Cup’, opens in Tokyo, Japan on the 8th of next month. At this year’s WBC stage, the Korean national team is looking forward to the performance of another ‘left-handed young gun’ Koo Chang-mo (26, NC Dinos).
Koo Chang-mo, who made his professional debut in 2015, drew attention as soon as he joined. He is a pitcher with fast balls in the mid-140 km/h range, sliders, curveballs, and splitters. In 2020, as a left-handed ace, he led the team’s combined victory while guarding the NC mound.
However, in 2021, the following year, Koo Chang-mo took a break for an entire year due to a stress fracture in his elbow. Last year, when he returned to the mound after completing rehabilitation training, he won again 11 times and was called by national team coach Lee Kang-cheol (57). Excluding the 2017 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC), which had an age limit, it was virtually selected for the first time in the national team.
Goo Chang-mo, whom I met before leaving for the US field training at the end of last month, said, “I haven’t had much of a relationship with the national team, but I’m really happy to be selected like this.”
Koo Chang-mo was mentioned as a candidate for the national team ahead of the 2019 Premier 12 and the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. However, each time he was injured, he could not wear his Taegeuk mark. In particular, ahead of the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, then national team coach Kim Gyeong-moon (65) expressed regret, saying, “It hurts my heart not to be able to select Gu Chang-mo.”
Gu Chang-mo went down to Jeju Island last month and did personal training. He continued to throw the WBC official ball, which is different from the KBO league, and learned his hand feel. Gu Chang-mo said, “At first, it was difficult to adapt to the (slippery) official ball. But as he kept throwing, he got used to it. He has learned how to use the breaking ball well,” he said. He also said, “I trained hard with the youth players in Jeju. I threw up to 30 balls. We plan to gradually increase the number of pitches in the future.”
Young-gun Koo Chang-mo, 26, will defend the mound for the national team with seniors Kim Gwang-hyeon and Yang Hyeon-jong at the WBC next month. It is a good opportunity to pass on know-how from veteran seniors with a lot of experience in international competitions.
Gu Chang-mo, who is currently sweating at spring camp in Arizona, USA, said, “I am well aware of the performance of the left-handed ace of the past baseball team. This time, he said, “It is only an honor to be selected for the national team alongside seniors Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong,” and said, “I will put the first button well so that I can continue the ace lineage of my left hand.”