Ex-MLB pitcher Park Chan-ho cheers for friend in Korean Series game

Former major league star Park Chan-ho took in a South Korean baseball championship game in Seoul on Saturday, rooting for a close friend of his managing in the series.
Park, the first South Korean to play in Major League Baseball (MLB), was elementary school, middle school and high school teammates with the current Kiwoom Heroes manager Hong Won-ki. Hong’s team is trailing the SSG Landers 2-1 in the best-of-seven Korean Series, and Hong invited Park to Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul to cheer on the Heroes in Game 4 Saturday.

In a 17-year big league career for seven clubs, Park won 124 games, more than any other Asian-born pitcher in big league history. He’s best known for his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made his lone National League All-Star team as a Dodger in 2001 and won a career-high 18 games with them in 2000.
“Kiwoom looks like a team that makes bold decisions when it comes to acquiring and developing players,” Park said. “I think signing Yasiel Puig in particular was a gutsy move.”
Park was referring to a former National League All-Star for the Dodgers. The Cuban outfielder arrived in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) with a reputation as a difficult player to coach and get along with, but the Heroes have raved about Puig’s work ethic all season.
“I told Hong Won-ki that, if he kept complimenting Puig, it could help Puig settle down with the new team,” Park said. “I think he has adjusted very well.”
Park also reserved high praise for An Woo-jin, the hard-throwing right-hander for the Heroes. He would have been Saturday’s starter if not for a blister in his right middle finger. An led the KBO this year with 224 strikeouts and a 2.11 ERA.
“I went to see Kiwoom practice once, and An Woo-jin came up to me and peppered me with so many questions when he was still a rookie,” Park recalled. “I think he’s developed into a pitcher who could compete in MLB right away. It’s unfortunate he wasn’t able to take the mound today.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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