Hanwha Eagles Kim Tae-gyun announced his retirement from active duty after the end of the season through the club on the 21st. He had a lot of worries about his performance and play as his skill declined recently, and he ended up in the first team this season, and went down to the second team with injuries in mid-August. Kim Tae-gyun said, “I think it is time for me to retire for the future of the team and for the growth of my juniors.” His last match in the 1st team, despite the retirement Gyeonggi Province, was the Samsung War on August 15th.
Excluding the overseas advancement period, Tae-gyun Kim, a’One Clubman’ who played only at Hanwha from 2001 until now, and one of Hanwha’s symbolic players, is one of the leading roles in KBO League’s’Golden Generation’ as well as his personal career. Born in 1982, younger brothers Lee Dae-ho (Lotte) Jung Geun-woo (LG) Oh Seung-hwan (Samsung) and others all promoted their reputation as’Superstars’, and when they were at their forefront, Korean baseball also met a revival.
The most representative scene is the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They were also the protagonists of the Olympic team led by coach Kim Kyung-moon. The national team’s gold medal in Beijing at the time had a lot of influence on the KBO league and was an achievement that brought tremendous glory. Kim Tae-gyun and other national team protagonists reigned as the best stars in the KBO League as well, and the KBO League enjoyed a renaissance boom that might come back when it was born. This generation has been together in a period of glory in the league and national team for years to come.
Now is the time for the Beijing protagonists to leave the ground one by one. Apart from veterans Jin Gap-yong, Lee Seung-yeop, Lee Jong-wook, and Lee Jin-young, who were also veterans at the time, the most active players in the middle class are taking off their uniforms. It is a time when Kim Tae-gyun decided to retire first among his peers, and the rest of the players are also at the crossroads of extension or transfer or retirement.
With the ending of the’Golden Generation’, the KBO League at the same time reduces the absence of a’new superstar’. Young players such as Lee Jung-hoo (Kee-woom) and Kang Baek-ho (KT) are clearly noticeable, but there is also a regret that players with both grades and star characteristics like him and his colleagues in Kim Tae-gyun’s heyday period are not visible. Compared to the past, players’ self-management, skill improvement, and technical skills have improved significantly, but it is true that the individual players’ topic is lower than before. Even now, the best baseball stars who are well known to the public, not just baseball fans, are foreigners such as Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto) and Kim Kwang-hyun (Saint Louis), who were the youngest at the time of the’Golden Generation’, or from the late 80s, such as Hyun-soo Kim (LG) and Hyun-jong Yang (KIA). .
In terms of personal performance, attention is relatively low as foreign players dominate the domestic wave. It can be seen by comparing it to the report card 10 years ago. There were only one foreign pitcher in the top 10 of the 2008 pitching average ERA, and only two in 2009. However, there are only two domestic players in the top 10 this year. As various factors overlapped, the presence and performance of foreign players increased significantly, creating an environment where it was relatively difficult for large stars to appear among domestic players. Of course, there are clearly differences in skills that cannot be overwhelmed in competition with foreign players.
The implications of Kim Tae-gyun’s retirement are huge. This is because it means that it is time to get used to the farewell to the players who were together during the KBO League Renaissance. And KBO League awaits the birth of the next’Superstars’.
Reporter Yuri Na [email protected]