“I wanted to go higher, and I chose this number, thinking it was my first step to get there.”
Special right-hander Young Gun Kim Hwigan (NC Dinos) will spend his debut season wearing No. 59 of the native left-hander ace Koo Chang-mo.
The NC Dinosaurs revealed their squad number for the 2024 season through the team’s news in January. Kim Hyung-joon, the main homeowner, changed his position from 47 to 25, while Daniel Castano and Kyle Hart, left-handed foreign pitchers, chose No. 20 and No. 30, respectively. Matt Davidson, a new foreign hitter, picked No. 59, while Kim chose No. 44.헤라카지노주소
Originally from Changwon where NC is based, Kim graduated from Gangwon Soyang Elementary School, Chuncheon Middle School, and Hwimung High School, and is a right-handed pitcher who was nominated by NC as the fifth player overall in the first round of the 2024 Rookie Draft. His strength is his fastball with a maximum speed of 153 kilometers based on his confident physique of 191 centimeters and 105 kilograms.
Kim Hui-gun, who expressed his strong ambition to dedicate his right arm to NC Dinos when he was nominated, chose No. 59 as his debut season number. The number 59 is the number that Koo Chang-mo, who is currently away from the Korean Armed Forces Sports Unit (Sangmu) for a while, put on.
Koo Chang-mo, who was called by NC as No. 3 in the second round of the first round in 2015, is a player of great significance to NC. Although he suffered from frequent injuries that he had never played a single regular inning since his debut, he reigned as a native left-hander ace with his fastballs and powerful sliders. Until last year, his performance was 47 wins, 37 losses, and 4 holds with a 3.68 ERA in 174 games (680.1 innings). In particular, he played in 15 games (93.1 innings) in the 2020 season, and recorded 9 wins and no losses with a 1.74 ERA, contributing greatly to NC’s first unified victory since its foundation.
Koo Chang-mo, who was removed from the first-team entry due to micro-damage to his left flexor muscles in early June last year, was diagnosed with a fatigue fracture at the end of the same month and had a long period of rehabilitation.
After failing to participate in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games due to the aftermath, Koo collapsed again on Sept. 27 last year after being diagnosed with re-fracture of his left forearm, and had surgery to remove his left ulnar plate and pin on Oct. 18 in the same year before joining Sangmu on Oct. 18. Kim has decided to wear No. 59 until Koo returns. It is his commitment to go higher.
“Hello! I’m Kim Hui-gun, NC Dinos’ new No. 59,” Kim Hui-gun, who recently said on his SNS account, said, “When I first received the number, I thought a lot about whether I really could get it. I think I was a little hesitant because I know the meaning of this number so well. However, I wanted to go higher, and I chose this number because I thought it was my first step to get there.”
Kim Hwigan wearing No. 59 is expected to be seen only this year. This is why the original owner, Koo Chang-mo, will be discharged from the military on June 17, 2025.
“I want to learn many things with the number 59 during my time in the military. I want to grow with my fans,” Kim said. “It won’t be easy, but I hope you cheer for me. I will do my best not to disappoint my fans. Thank you.”
In an interview with MK Sports during NC’s closing camp late last year, he confidently said, “My biggest goal is to remain the greatest pitcher in the NC Dinos. I want to break the record of the most wins (82 wins) in NC’s career (owned by Lee Jae-hak) and go up to a higher position.” Attention is focusing on whether he will be able to have a meaningful time this year, who will spend his debut season wearing No. 59, Koo Chang-mo’s baton.
Meanwhile, Kim is expected to build up his body in the C-team (NC Division 2) camp, which will take place in Masan and Goseong Baseball Stadium from Feb. 1, instead of the CAMP 2 (Campaign) of the NC Dinos team (NC Division 1) in Tucson, Arizona. “We excluded rookie players (including Kim Hui-gun),” NC manager Kang In-kwon said about the list of spring camps for professional league players. “I think there were hardships facing rookie players that I didn’t have. When I heard from coaches and members around me, rookie players expressed difficulties while going to camp. It’s a pity, but if we do well in C-team camp, we will be able to see them in exhibition games,” he said.