The Hanwha Eagles’ reliever is growing into a solid closer. This is the story of Park Sang-won (29).
Park pitched the second game of a doubleheader against the KIUM Heroes of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea, on Sept. 9, pitching 1 1/3 innings of one-hit, one-strikeout ball to earn his 14th save of the season.
In fact, Park was selected as the closer in spring training. However, he was unable to complete the camp due to a bruised arm, so the closer’s job was handed over to Jang Si-hwan. Kang Jae-min and Kim Bum-soo took over the closer’s role for a while before Park recovered and took over again.
Coincidentally, Park earned a save in his first appearance this season. It was a natural fit for the closer role. On April 19 against Doosan in Daejeon, Park entered with runners on first and second in the top of the ninth inning with his team leading 7-6. He threw two pitches to pinch-hitter Kim Jae-ho for the save. It was his first team and individual save of the season.
In the closer’s spot, Park Sang-won has been solid in closing out the back door. His multi-inning performances have been nothing short of spectacular. In the ninth inning, he recorded a four-out save.
After the game, Park said, “I’m grateful that they let me pitch. I think it means they believe in me, and I try to throw my best every time I go out there, and I think that’s why I have such good results.” He smiled.
It was also Park’s 29th birthday. Nick Williams celebrated back-to-back birthdays on the eighth and Park on the ninth, and the birthday boys came up big to lead the team to victory.
“I pitched on my birthday a few years ago. It was before I went to the army (September 9, 2018, LG Electronics, ⅓ inning, 1 run). I remember being so excited that it didn’t turn out well. I got a lot of calls this morning, but I tried not to get too excited. Yesterday (Sept. 8), I gave up a run in the eighth inning and got turned over, so I tried to concentrate more. I think the fact that I tried to keep my emotions in check carried over to the ninth inning and led to the save.”
Park started playing baseball in the third grade, but his dream was always to be a closer, not a starter.
“It was my dream and goal to be a closer since I was a kid, so I didn’t get many starts as a student. I even told the coach at the time that I would throw long in the second inning,” he said.
“Anyone can start,” he said. But at the end of the day, you have to have someone on the team that all the players, managers, 온라인바카라 and coaches recognize. I think that’s why I was more attracted to it,” he said, revealing his love for the position.
He joined Hanwha and became the closer of his dreams. Now, he hopes to follow in the footsteps of Koo Dae-sung and Chung Woo-ram as the guardian of Hanwha. This year, he recorded his first 10 saves in his debut, but he admits that it’s still not enough.
“I still have a long way to go. I still have a few more years of full-time work. I need to be able to say ‘Hanwha’s closer is Park Sang-won’ without anyone saying it,” he emphasized. He continued, “I want to keep winning like this. The fact that we have a lot of draws means that the team