The glory of ‘Ace Glasses’ during his active years was one short of the end. Will I be able to achieve my dream with ‘Winning Contractor’?
The Lotte Giants appointed coach Joo Hyung-kwang as the first team pitching coach for the next season (Sports Chosun exclusive report on the 26th).
On the 20th, coach Taehyung Kim took office. Coach Kim is leading the final camp, starting with the inauguration ceremony on the 24th and a meeting with the players on the 25th.
Along with the appointment of a new coach, Lotte Club also reorganized its coaching staff. In addition to the main coach, new coaches such as Kim Min-jae, Kim Joo-chan, Ko Young-min, Yoo Jae-shin, and Jeong Sang-ho were recruited.
In particular, the person that Coach Kim met the evening after the Lotte head coach inauguration ceremony was the main coach. In this position, he was offered the position of pitching coach, and the head coach gratefully accepted it.
Coach Joo has served as head coach at his alma mater, Yangjeong Elementary School, for the past three years. He took a break from the harsh professional world and gained new experience as a manager rather than a coach.
But now he is returning to the professional stage. He quickly got his affairs in order over the weekend, saying thank you and goodbye to the school.
Starting on the 30th, we will join the Lotte finishing camp that is underway at the Sangdong 2nd team practice ground in Gimhae. It is a return to his former team after 4 years since 2019, and an honorable comeback as the first team’s main pitching coach.
Born in 1967, he is 9 years older than Director Kim. There is no particular common denominator across players, coaches, and academic ties. However, Coach Kim explained, “He was especially close to Lotte players during his time as a player.”
He is a one-club man who only played at Lotte for 14 years as a player and 11 years as a coach. He has accumulated experience as a coach from the 1st to 3rd teams, and is the main character who selected and developed players such as Koo Seung-min, Kim Won-joong, Park Jin-hyung (Lotte), and Park Si-young (KT). He knows Lotte’s pitching staff and team culture better than anyone else. He is a strong supporter for director Kim Tae-hyung.
In particular, Coach Joo recalled in a past interview with Sports Chosun, “My most regrettable memory was not winning the Korean Series in 1995.” As a player, he made it to the Korean Series twice, in 1995 and 1999, but never won the championship. Since then, Lotte has not been on the Korean Series stage for 23 years.
In terms of records, 1996, when he won the most wins and strikeouts king, was his peak year, but the head coach chose his rookie year as his best year, saying, “It was when baseball went my way.”
The 1995 Korean Series remains one of the most intense series in history. Coach Lee Hae-joo led Lotte to the Korean Series by winning the playoff MVP, but was unable to become the winning pitcher in the Korean Series. Lotte was ahead with 3 wins and 2 losses until the 5th game, but lost the 6th and 7th games one after another.
In the second game, Coach Joo retired from a 1-1 tie after pitching 8 ⅓ innings and allowing 1 run (127 pitches), and Lotte lost after a walk-off hit by Min-ho Kim. In Game 5, Lotte won 7-6, but Coach Joo performed somewhat poorly, allowing 4 runs in 6 innings, including allowing a 3-run home run to Shim Jeong-soo.안전놀이터
Coincidentally, the team that defeated Lotte and lifted the championship trophy after a fierce battle that lasted until the 7th game of the year was Doosan, and the starting catcher who warmly embraced ace Kwon Myeong-cheol at the moment of victory was coach Kim. He is also the protagonist of the timely hit that resulted in Joo Hyung-kwang’s only run in Game 2.
Lotte also made it to the Korean Series in 1999, but Lotte, who had put all their effort into the playoffs against the Samsung Lions, lost the championship to the Hanwha Eagles.
Before we knew it, Coach Kim had won the championship three times and had become the ‘winning coach’ of the Korean Series for seven consecutive times, wearing the Lotte uniform. Will the two be able to break the cycle of six consecutive fall baseball failures and bring Lotte to the postseason and even the Korean Series?