[Interview] ‘Unknown Catcher’ Park Jae-wook “I met ‘The Strongest Baseball’ and opened the ‘second chapter of my life’”

Park Jae-wook, who wore a Monsters uniform after retiring from the LG Twins, said,
“Coach Kim Seong-geun’s passion is so great that even his age of ’80’ pales in comparison.”

Professional baseball is ruthless. Of the 1,165 high school and college graduates who voted for this year’s rookie draft, only 9.4% (110 people) were nominated by a professional team. Even so, there are numerous players who cannot make it to the first team stage. Even if he plays in the first team, if his skills are poor, he will be immediately demoted to the second team. Former LG Twins player Park Jae-wook (27) also did the same. He was selected in the 10th round of the 2014 rookie draft and joined the LG Twins. He played for the first team for the first time two years later, but spent more time with the second team than with the first. After holding on for 9 years, I took off my uniform in July of last year.

However, the ‘second act’ of his baseball life began early this year when he joined the ‘Strongest Monsters’ team of the JTBC entertainment program ‘Strongest Baseball’. He beat prominent senior players such as Dae-ho Lee and Yong-taek Park to receive the MVP award, and established himself as a reliable catcher by leading pitcher Dae-eun Lee to a shutout win. I met Park Jae-wook, who is said to be busier than when he was a pro, at an academy he runs in Busan on September 2nd. The following is a Q&A with Jaewook Park.

Is there a reason you decided to retire at the young age of 27? Has he ever regretted it?

“I think I was just looking ahead with the thought that ‘I will play in the 1st team.’ However, as the time between the 1st and 2nd teams became longer, I could not ignore financial issues. Then, the coach said, ‘Being a player is not the answer. “I remembered what he said, ‘I think he would do well as a coach.’ I decided to retire because I thought I had a lot of life left in my life to just pursue my dreams. I wouldn’t have said I would quit if I thought I would regret it.”

How is he spending his daily life after retirement?

“The day I signed that I would retire from LG, I immediately became a coach at a baseball academy in Cheonho-dong, Seoul. I thought I had to quickly find my future path. Now, in my hometown of Busan, I watch children’s lessons on weekdays and also make direct phone calls to parents. I receive it. I also practice on my own from time to time. On Sundays, I go up to Seoul to practice with the ‘Monsters’ team. I film on Monday or Tuesday and come back to Busan. I’m handling all my schedules on my own without an agency, but what can I do to make money (laughs) ).”

When he retired, he said he had nothing to do with baseball as a player, so why did he apply for the ‘Strongest Baseball’ tryout (entry test)?

“There is a baseball equipment store owner whom I became close with while coaching an academy in Busan. He knew my situation well. One day, he told me that there was a tryout for a program called ‘Strongest Baseball’ and asked me to try it out. As soon as he heard that, he fell in love with baseball. “I was thirsty inside. I thought, ‘I haven’t given up on my dream of baseball yet.’ I remember writing and submitting the application right before the application deadline as if I was possessed by something.”

He beat a prominent candidate and joined the ‘Monsters’ team. Did he continue to practice alone after his retirement?

“As a player, it was the first time since I retired that I put on a catcher’s glove (tryout day).바카라사이트 In fact, an 8-month gap is a very long time for a player. I didn’t have time for individual practice because I was teaching children. But I actually participated in the tryout. So I caught the ball and threw it, and I realized that I had been practicing since I was in the third grade of elementary school. I think my grades came out better than I was worried about.”

The popularity of ‘Best Baseball’ is enormous. It ranked first in viewership and topicality in the non-drama/show series category, and tickets for the direct match were sold out in just one minute. As the program becomes more popular, I think the awareness of each player also increases.

“When I was on active duty, I was almost unknown. When I went out, no one recognized me (laughter). There is no comparison between my popularity back then and now. (After the program aired) I went to a Chinese restaurant to eat, and the owner offered me some shrimp to taste. He said, ‘I’m a fan.’

When do you feel the pitcher shaking in ‘Monsters’? At such times, how does he relieve tension as a catcher?

“You can feel the pitcher’s breathing becoming more urgent and the tempo increasing. Then, he goes up to the mound and says things like, ‘It’s okay,’ ‘You can get hit,’ or ‘You can score.’ Breaking the flow once in a while like this helps the pitcher’s breathing. “It helps organize the batting. At the same time, it can break up the batter’s hitting flow.”

He won the MVP award, beating out prominent seniors such as Dae-ho Lee and Yong-taek Park. Is there a memorable compliment?

“I remember producer Jang Si-won’s compliment when he said, ‘You’re the only person who looks the other way when our team is playing defense.’ In a way, it’s a loneliness that only catchers feel, so I was grateful that they recognized this. Lee Dae-eun said, ‘A complete shutout.’ ‘ Coach Kim Seong-geun said, ‘The catcher did a good job,’ and regardless of whether he receives the MVP award or not, these words are of great help to the catchers.”

It is said that the number of people wanting the catcher position is decreasing. What do you think is the cause? Nevertheless, he has the charm of a catcher.

“If there are 10 games, you will definitely get hit by the ball 8 to 9 times. During one game, there are days when you keep getting hit by the ball as if you are possessed by a ghost. The general public doesn’t know this, but the pitcher throws at a speed of 140 to 150 km and hits areas that don’t have protective equipment. If you get hit, it really hurts. Still, it can interfere with the game, so you shouldn’t show it. In fact, it seems like there are fewer students wanting to be catchers than before. People who were in other positions are becoming catchers. In fact, senior Yang Eui-ji (Doosan Bears) ) or Kang Min-ho (Samsung Lions), it is a position that does not receive much attention unless you are a star player with good batting skills. Still, after winning a game, there is a feeling of joy that only a catcher can feel at having done well in a game.”

Coach Kim Seong-geun said he heard that even though he is over 80, he still goes to the training ground with his players. Can you feel director Kim Seong-geun’s energy on set?

“This year’s summer was especially hot, so even the young players lost stamina and had a hard time. But the coach stood up straight and watched the players. Then, they couldn’t help but work hard. If they did anything half-heartedly, he would ask them later, ‘Why did you do that?’ “I heard the other day that the manager took amateur players and trained for 6 hours on a rainy day. He is a person whose passion for baseball is belied by his age.”

There are many fans who want him to turn pro again. Are there any teams you are in contact with separately?

“If you look at the comments on YouTube, there are often people asking me to play professionally again. However, since I quit voluntarily, I am considered a ‘voluntary withdrawal’. I am still a member of the LG Twins, so even if I return, I can only do it with LG. Before I retire, I can go to another team. I wanted to try out and asked to be released, but they said I couldn’t do that. In the case of a regular job, if you want to change jobs, you can quit and go at will, but that’s not the case in professional baseball. I’m happy now as I’m teaching children and playing as a ‘Monsters’ player. .”

What does ‘best baseball’ mean to you?

“This is the first time in my life that I have wondered if I could be so happy playing baseball. There are only a very small number of players who qualify as free agents (FA) and move on to play professionally. But I am happy that I have the opportunity to enjoy baseball outside of being a professional. “I wonder if it must have been so hard to play baseball so happily. I think my baseball life is starting to bloom now.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecte adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore


  • UI Design
  • Digital Strategy
  • Social Media
  • Content Writing

Quick Links


  • Jl. Sunset Road No.815 Kuta, Badung, Bali – 80361
  • (021) 123 – 4567
  • support@domain.com