The retirement ceremony of Oh Jae-won (38, former Doosan Bears), a fellow of the same age, on October 8 last year. Kim Jae-ho (38, Doosan) left a meaningful comment, saying, “I’m going soon too.” It was a comment that hinted at his retirement a year later when the remainder of his contract expires. That year, Kim Jae-ho only had a batting average of 0.215, 1 home run, and 21 RBI in 102 games.
A year later, Kim Jae-ho made a complete comeback. He has a batting average of 0.339, 3 home runs, 0.432 on-base percentage, and 0.436 slugging percentage in 72 games this season. August’s results are particularly strong. He hit a hit in 11 consecutive games, hitting a batting average of 0.435, an on-base percentage of 0.538 (1st place), and 19 runs (tied for 4th place). Cho-A Pharmaceutical and this magazine selected him as the monthly MVP (Best Player) for August.
Kim Jae-ho said, “It all worked out well without me even realizing it. I really wanted to do well. I suffered a lot during the two years of poor performance, so I really wanted to do well before retirement. It seems that preparing like that has led to good results. This is my first time with a monthly record like this.” “It’s the same,” he said.
It wasn’t good from the beginning. Even in April, when the regular season opened, there was no place for Kim Jae-ho in the first team. Doosan, which needed a generational change, gave more opportunities to Ahn Jae-seok and Yu-chan Lee. Jae-ho Kim had only 14 at-bats in 10 games in April. He is Kim Jae-ho, who has been accumulating targets while dealing with pitchers. As his opportunities to play decreased, his performance (batting average of 0.167) also decreased. Kim Jae-ho said,안전놀이터 “I felt like I didn’t have a place anymore. I worked really hard to become a starting player, so I wanted to play for a long time, but it was difficult because I thought, ‘Is retirement a reality?'”
I made up my mind. Kim Jae-ho was Doosan’s one-club man. That’s how much he wanted to finish cleanly. He said, “Seniors retiring from Doosan often had bad endings. I was able to escape (from the slump) with the mindset of becoming a senior who ends well.”
Kim Jae-ho survived the summer. He had a batting average of 0.325 in 17 games in June and 0.303 in 10 games in July. He regained his starting spot, and as he became familiar with first-team pitchers, his tactics began to work. Kim Jae-ho reflected, “I was happy to go to the game, so my grades naturally followed. While fighting with the pitcher, the method I used before worked, and I got good results.”
KBSN sports commentator Park Yong-taek, who went through the same period, deeply sympathized with Kim Jae-ho’s feelings. He played until the age of 41 during his career, accumulating 2504 hits in his career (1st all-time). As his career was long, he thought about ‘the end’ countless times.
Commissioner Park Yong-taek said, “As a veteran, the feeling of poor performance is different from when I was young. When I sit on the bench, a lot of thoughts come to my mind. I think, ‘Should I retire quickly? Should I raise my hand (that I will retire) first?'” did.
Commissioner Park Yong-taek said, “We should be able to put an iron plate on his face.” He asked, “It’s better to give up the thought of retirement. I have to do as much as I can and as much as I can. If a junior who can beat me comes along, then I can think about retirement. Aren’t the juniors still able to beat Jae-ho Kim?”
Kim Jae-ho, who surpassed 1,700 games this year, is dreaming of tomorrow again. He smiled and said, “I’ve been doing so well these days that even the fans are saying, ‘Please give me five more years.’” He added, “In my heart, I want to do it for another 60 years. But I can’t say I want to do more. I have to have a good conversation with the club. But I still want to do it.” “I have the heart and my body is in good shape. I learned how to run without my shoulders hurting,” he said.
He pledged, “I will do my best until I take off my uniform. I originally aimed to play in 1,800 games. I don’t think I’m a player good enough to challenge for 2,000 games. I still have records (that I want to set), so I will work harder.”