The 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) remains a 먹튀검증 bitter memory in Korean baseball. Contrary to the expectation that advancing to the second round would be smooth, the result was disastrous. They lost 7-8 to Australia, their first match of the first round, and bowed their heads as they lost 4-13 to their rival, Japan. After that, I caught the Czech Republic and China, but I couldn’t catch a ticket to the second round.
When the Korean baseball team finished the tournament after suffering the high defeat of being eliminated in the first round, an era came to an end as Kim Hyun-soo (35, LG Twins) and Kim Gwang-hyun (35, SSG Landers), who were known as the national team members, announced their retirement from the national team side by side. made me feel At the same time, it made it possible to know that the task of changing generations has become clearer.
After the match against China, which was his last match as a national team member, Kim Hyun-soo said, “It’s the last time I’m wearing a Korean uniform.” I think it’s about time,” he said, announcing his retirement from the national team.
Kim Gwang-hyun, who started in the match against Japan but struggled with 3 hits and 4 runs in 2 innings, also returned the Taegeuk mark. Right after the tournament, Kim Gwang-hyun posted on his social media account, “It was a dream and pride to be a national team member. From the 2005 youth national team to the 2023 WBC, I feel proud of myself for playing for the country and for Korean baseball. I can learn and grow so much. I think I have to hand over the opportunity to my juniors. I could have done better, but I feel very regretful and resentful,” he said goodbye to the national team.
The retirement of the two players, who were so-called national team regulars, is no different from giving Korean baseball a clear task. Even at the age of mid-thirties, they were called to the national team for this WBC. Both players played important roles. Kim Hyeon-soo was the center hitter, and Kim Gwang-hyeon took on the heavy responsibility of being the starting pitcher for the game against Japan. On the one hand, it meant that young players couldn’t replace them yet.
Now, Korean baseball has to prepare for ‘tomorrow’. The time has come for players born between 1987 and 1988, who were called the so-called golden generation, to leave the national team. Unfortunately, after them, the generation called the golden generation has not yet appeared.
It is difficult not to miss Kim Gwang-hyeon and Kim Hyeon-soo, who announced their retirement from the national team at the next international competition, or to ‘forcefully recall’ them. That will remain as a ‘sad self-portrait’ of Korean baseball. It is necessary to prepare for the ‘next generation’ with in-depth consideration, such as strengthening the national team’s competitiveness, the growth of young players representing the league, and further, how to nurture amateur players. That way, players who announced their retirement from the national team will no longer be missed.