Coach Kang Hyuk (49), who was called a “genius of misfortune” when he was a player, compared baseball to a “war.” Baseball, which he started in his third year of elementary school, is boring, but he confidently said, “The happiest thing I can do is teach baseball.”
Kang’s life as a baseball coach is full of ups and downs. When he was a high school student, he was an all-time great prospect with hits in 31 consecutive games including the presidential boat, the Blue Dragon Flag batting champion, the Lee Young-min batting champion, the cycling hit, and the national championship. As a result, he received a love call from OB Bears (currently Doosan Bears) and Hanyang University ahead of graduation. As he was armed with outstanding skills, both professional and amateur players did not let him go easily. Consequently, he became a trigger for a catastrophe.
In 1993, when he graduated from Shinil High School, he was permanently expelled by the Korea Baseball Organization due to the double registration scandal between OB and Hanyang University. “It was like a death sentence for an athlete. It was really tough,” coach Kang Hyuk said. “I decided to let the world pay attention to me.” “I should have quit baseball then. I had to change my sport to golf (individual athlete).”
Coach Kang, who moved to Hanyang University after being permanently expelled from the team, briefly participated in the business baseball league (Hyundai Phoenix) after graduation. He changed his mind at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games. As he was the only member of the business team to contribute to winning the gold medal, public sympathy was created. In the thawing mood, the shackles of his permanent expulsion, which had been hampered for six years, have been lifted. Coach Kang, who joined the OB late, received a down payment of 500 million won (approx. He took his first professional step with great interest, but showed minimal performance.헤라카지노
After being traded to the SK Wyverns (now SSG Landers) in January 2001, he removed his uniform in 2007. His overall professional performance is 0.249 (223 hits in 930 at bats) with 18 homers and 115 RBIs in 428 games. Compared to his illustrious high school days, his performance is far from what he described as a “falling down.”
a batter who wanted to be a god
Some criticize Kang’s failure, saying that he is a lazy genius and has not adapted to the wooden bat. “I’m saying this because he doesn’t know me well,” Kang shook his head. “When I was a sophomore at Shinil High School, I stayed up all night to swing from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next day. No one made me do it,” he said. “I wanted to hear that I was a ‘God of batting’ by doing better. I swung the bat day and night to the point where my fingerprints were erased.”
A variable of his adjustment to the professional league was injury. Kang injured his shoulder at the spring camp in his first year of joining the OB team. The problem was that his left shoulder was pushed back while making diving catch at the Tsukumi training camp in Japan. When the first button fell off, he became impatient. “When I received a lot of down payment for joining the army, people around me were paying more attention. That’s why I ended up playing more overface,” Kang said.
Even after moving to the SK Wyverns, he suffered an injury. He injured his left shoulder again while sliding in defense at an exhibition game in 2001. He played despite pain, but ended up on the operating table in August that year. When he tried to do something, he repeatedly suffered injuries and rehabilitation treatments.
The professional world was cool-headed. As the slump and absence dragged on, he lost ground. “I always played baseball with a mindset that I was being chased after. I thought experience was important (as late as a professional start), but if I failed at bat or two, I would be replaced immediately,” coach Kang Hyuk said. “Players who I thought were lower than others in high school surpassed me as they gained three to four years of experience in the professional league. Unlike them, I think my growth stopped.”
The last time Kang Hyuk became a player was in 2007. That year, he gritted his teeth to impress the new coach Kim Sung-keun. However, he was left behind by young players including Jeong Keun-woo and Choi Jeong. “I joined the first division in three months and I hit a double play when my team lost consecutive games,” Kang said. “My manager came and told me to join the second division. I didn’t think he would call me back then. Thinking about retirement, I started to feel physically ill. I didn’t want to play baseball in shame.”
After retirement, Kang, who served as manager of the Little Baseball Team at Namgu Office in Incheon, returned to the professional league as a batting coach for SK Group in November 2013. After the 2015 season, he became manager of Shinil High School in his alma mater, and since then, he has had no connection with the KBO League.
LG Twins’ Kim Jae-hyun and SK Wyverns’ Kang Hyuk are talking during the game. IS Photo
As for the choice that he regrets the most in his baseball career, Kang stressed that he had to stay in the SK Wyverns. “I should have gone up while coaching there. I thought it was the right choice at the time, but it wasn’t,” he said. “I thought it was a great honor for my alma mater. I went with the mindset that I want to have a successful career for 10 years, but I finally came out in two years.” Representative students who were raised when Shin Il High School was head coach include Moon Bo-kyung (LG Twins) and Kim Hwi-jip (Kium Heroes).
“He was the best of his time,” said Kyung Bo-baek, the OB management team leader (current general secretary of Ilguhoe), who scouted coach Kang Hyuk. “He had excellent contact skills and power in the professional field.” It is one of the best scenes of “player Kang Hyuk,” who is remembered over the fact that Lim Sun-dong (then Yonsei University) got an intentional four-base hit with two outs in the spring league final in his third year of college.
Coach Kang is developing a “second team.” “I don’t tell players what I haven’t experienced before. I try to see strengths before weaknesses,” he said with a chuckle. “I want to teach players wherever they need me. I don’t tell them to work hard,” he said. “I don’t tell all players to do well. If you want to do well, you have to go crazy,” he stressed.