“I shudder to think of it~”
The ‘best left-handed pitcher’ of an era. He announced his retirement.
The Doosan Bears announced the retirement of Jang Won-jun (38) on April 28.
Jang Won-jun, who graduated from Busan High School, joined the Lotte Giants as a first-round pick in 2004. Although he does not have a 150 kilometer per hour fastball that overwhelms opponents, he quickly grew into a top left-handed starter with the strength of seasoned game management based on stable pitches.
Starting with 12 wins in 2008, he won double-digit wins for eight consecutive years, except for his time in the police baseball team (2012-2013), and became known as the “synonym of steadiness.
Jang was also an icon of human triumph. After winning 14 games in 2017, he won just three in 2018 due to injuries and poor form. His career win clock stopped at 129.
One win away from 130.
It would take Jang Won-jun five years to make up for that one win, as he had been racking up double-digit wins every year. From 2019 to 2022, he didn’t win a game and was on the verge of retirement.
As the club was contemplating his release and retirement, Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop, who took over the reins ahead of the 2023 season, said he wanted to give him one last chance. A hard-won opportunity. Jang prepared as a starter in the Futures League, and ultimately fulfilled his role as a substitute starter this season, becoming the 11th pitcher in history to reach 130 wins. In 11 games, he went 3-5 with a 5.27 ERA.
In the final game of the regular season, which decided the team’s standings, Jang pitched 4⅓ innings to become the ninth player in history to reach 2,000 innings.
Jang’s “baseball life” has changed the way the KBO thinks about starting pitchers.
Prior to Jang, it was widely believed that starting pitcher free agents were unlikely to succeed. Before the 2015 season, Jang signed a four-year, $8.4 billion contract with Doosan, and he won 12 games in his first year, helping the team win the Korean Series. In 2016, he won 15 games and helped the team win the integrated title. 굿모닝토토 도메인
With a list of accomplishments worthy of being called a “legend,” a grand retirement ceremony seems like a no-brainer.
However, Jang Won-jun’s retirement ceremony may not happen.
This is because Jang Won-joon himself is struggling. I’m worried that they won’t do it, but even if they do, I don’t want to. I wonder why.
He’s a quiet introvert. The pressure of being in the spotlight is too much for him.