Resurrection, not retirement… Kim Jae-ho “I want to be a senior who can end well
Oh Jae-won (38, former Doosan Bears) retired on October 8 last year. Kim Jae-ho (38-Doosan) said, “I’m coming too,” a meaningful statement. That year, Kim batted just .215 with one home run and 21 RBIs in 102 games.토토사이트
A year later, Kim bounced back perfectly. In 72 games this season, he is batting .339 with three home runs, a .432 slugging percentage, and a .436 on-base percentage. His August performance was particularly strong. During an 11-game hitting streak, he batted .435 with a .538 on-base percentage (over 1) and 19 runs scored (tied for 4th). Joa Pharmaceuticals and this magazine named him the monthly MVP (Most Valuable Player) for August.
Kim Jae-ho said, “It worked out without me realizing it. I wanted to do well so badly. I was struggling for two years, so I wanted to do well once before I retired, and I think that preparation led to good results. I don’t think I’ve ever had a monthly record like this before.”
It wasn’t all rosy from the start. In April, when the regular season began, there was no place for Kim in the first team. Doosan, in need of generational change, gave Ahn Jae-seok and Lee Yoo-chan more opportunities. Kim Jae-ho only had 14 at-bats in 10 games in April. He had been building his game against pitchers. As his playing time decreased, so did his performance (.167 batting average). “I felt like there was no place for me anymore. I wanted to play for a long time because I worked really hard and became a starter, but it was hard to think, ‘Is retirement a reality?
He made up his mind. Kim Jae-ho was a one-club man for Doosan, and he wanted to end his career on a high note. “The seniors who retired from Doosan didn’t end well,” he says. I was able to get out of (the slump) with the mindset that I would be the one to end on a high note.”
Kim came alive in the summer. He batted .325 in 17 games in June and .303 in 10 games in July. He regained his starting spot, got comfortable with the first-team pitchers, and his stolen bases began to fall. “Once I was happy to play, my performance followed naturally. Fighting with the pitcher, the way I used to do it worked, and I got good results.”
Park Yong-taek, a KBSN sports commentator who went through the same period of his life, sympathized with Kim Jae-ho. He played until the age of 41, accumulating 2504 hits in his career (the most in history). As his career was long, he thought about ‘the end’ many times.
“When you’re a veteran, a slump feels different than when you’re younger,” Park said. When I’m sitting on the bench, I think a lot of things to myself. ‘Should I retire soon? Should I raise my hand (to retire) first?” he said.
Park Yong-taek said, “You have to be able to put a steel plate on your face.” He added, “It’s good to let go of the idea of retirement. I have to do as much as I can, as much as I can hit. If there is a junior who can beat me, then I can think about retirement. The juniors haven’t beaten Kim Jae-ho yet.”
After surpassing 1,700 career appearances this year, Kim Jae-ho is already dreaming of tomorrow. “I’ve been doing so well lately that fans are asking me to play for five more years,” he laughed, “and I want to play for 60 more years, but it’s not something I can say I want to do. I have to talk to the club. But I still want to play, and I’m in good shape. I’ve learned to play without my shoulder hurting.”
He added: “I will do my best until I hang up my jersey. My goal was to play 1800 games. I don’t think I’m a good enough player to go for 2000. I still have a record (to set), so I will work harder.”