Park Jae-hong (baseball)

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Park Jae-hong
Park Jae-Hong from acrofan.jpg
Outfielder
Born: (1973-09-07) September 7, 1973 (age 40)
Gwangju, South Korea
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Professional debut
KBO: April 2, 1996 for the Hyundai Unicorns
Last professional appearance
October 6, 2012 for the SK Wyverns
KBO statistics
(through mid-2011)
Batting average .285
Home runs 295
RBI 1061
Stolen bases 267
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • KBO Golden Glove Award winner (1996, 1997, 1998, 2000)
  • Korean Series winner (1998, 2000, 2007, 2008)
  • KBO Rookie of the Year (1996)
  • KBO All-Star Game MVP (2002)
Park Jae-hong
Medal record
Representing  South Korea
Men’s baseball
Olympic Games
Bronze 2000 Sydney Team
Park Jae-hong
Hangul 박재홍
Hanja 朴栽弘
Revised Romanization Bak Jaehong
McCune–Reischauer Pak Chaehong
This is a Korean name; the family name is Park.

Park Jae-hong (Hangul: 박재홍, Hanja: 朴栽弘; born September 7, 1973 in Gwangju, South Korea) is a South Korean outfielder who currently plays for SK Wyverns in the Korea Baseball Organization. Park is currently considered one of the best five-tool players in the KBO league. He is the first player in the KBO history to have 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 1996 and the only player to have more than two seasons of 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases, doing so a record three times (1996, 1998 and 2000). He actually did 30-30 in his debut season(1996), the only person to do so until Mike Trout, who did it on 2012.

Park competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics, and led his team to the bronze medal in the baseball tournament.

Amateur career[edit]

While attending Gwangu Jaeil High School, Park was a highly regarded right-handed power pitcher. In 1991, he was selected for the South Korean national junior baseball team as a pitcher to compete against the Japan and USA national junior teams at the 3-nation friendly baseball series in California, United States. The Korean team swept all the games with a record of 4-0 and Park drew attention from MLB scouts along with fellow pitchers Park Chan-ho and Lim Sun-dong.

In 1992, upon graduation from high school, Park started to play college baseball at Yonsei University, converting his position to third base. While at Yonsei University, Park led his team to five college championships in four years alongside Lim Sun-dong and Cho In-sung.

In 1993, as a sophomore Park was selected for the South Korea national baseball team and competed in the Asian Baseball Championship held in Perth, Australia. The South Korean team won silver and Park was named to the All-Star Team as a third baseman.

As a senior in 1995, Park helped Yonsei University win the 1995 National College Championship (Spring Season) and was named MVP with Home Run, RBI and Stolen Bases titles. After the 1995 college season, he signed with the Hyundai Phoenix in the Korea Baseball Association amateur league, refusing to join the KBO pro league in order to participate in the 1996 Summer Olympics next year.

Notable international careers[edit]

Year Venue Competition Team Individual Note
1993  Australia Asian Baseball Championship Silver medal icon.svg All-Star (3B)
1993  United States Universiade Silver medal icon.svg
1994  Japan Asian Games Silver medal icon.svg
1994  Nicaragua Baseball World Cup Silver medal icon.svg .293 BA (12-for-41), 11 R
1995  Japan Universiade Silver medal icon.svg .125 BA (2-for-16), 2 SB
1995  Japan Asian Baseball Championship Silver medal icon.svg

Professional career[edit]

Hyundai Unicorns[edit]

After the 1995 KBO season, the Pacific Dolphins based in Incheon was purchased by Hyundai Group due to financial difficulties, and the team was moved before the 1996 season to Suwon and renamed the Hyundai Unicorns. Due to the business relationship between the Phoenix and the Unicorns, five players in the Hyundai Phoenix roster moved to the Hyundai Unicorns and Park eventually decided to join the pro league, signing with the Unicorns in March 1996. In the 1996 KBO season, as a rookie Park become the first player in KBO history to join the 30-30 club. He also won the home run and RBI titles and Golden Glove Awards as an outfielder. After the season, Park was named Rookie of the Year in unanimous vote and runner-up behind Koo Dae-sung of the Hanwha Eagles in the MVP balloting.

Park joined his second 30-30 club in 1998 when he hit 30 home runs and stole a career-high 43 bases. After the season, Park was selected for the South Korea national baseball team and led his team to their first Asian Games gold medal in the baseball tournament, batting .455 with 3 home runs and 12 RBI.

Park joined his third 30-30 club in the 2000 KBO season when he hit 32 home runs and stole 30 bases. Park also won his second RBI title, driving in 115 runs. In September 2000, he competed for South Korea in the 2000 Summer Olympics where they won the bronze medal in the baseball tournament.

Kia Tigers[edit]

Prior to the 2003 season, Park was traded to the Kia Tigers for third baseman Jeong Seong-hoon. In 2003, he had his third .300 plus batting average (.301) season, accumulating 19 home runs, 66 RBI and 14 stolen bases.

In 2004, Park hit his 200th career home run on May 11 to become the tenth player in 22-year KBO history to reach the milestone. However, he had his worst pro season due to injuries, batting a career-low .253 and hitting only 7 home runs and 47 hits in 73 games played.

SK Wyverns[edit]

After the 2004 season, Park was traded to the SK Wyverns where he played center field and batted cleanup or 5th in the order.

On July 23, 2005, Park joined the 200-200 club as its first member in KBO history, getting his 200th stolen base of his career.

In the 2007 season, Park had 17 home runs, and led the Wyverns to their first Korean Series championship.

On April 23, 2009, Park stole his 250th base of his career, and this made him the first member of KBO's 250-250 club.

After the 2011 season, Wyverns offered him the coaching job but he wanted to stay as a player. On November 25, 2011, Wyverns confirmed that he would play for the team one more year.

On October 3, 2012, Park became the seventh player ever to hit 300 home runs. He also became the oldest player to slug 300 home runs when he accomplished the feat at the age of 39 years and 26 days.

On January 23, 2013 Park announced his retirement as a pro baseball player. After that he will act as a baseball TV commentator.[1]

Notable international careers[edit]

Year Venue Competition Team Individual Note
1998  Thailand Asian Games Gold medal icon.svg .455 BA (10-for-22), 3 HR, 12 RBI, 9 R
1999  South Korea Asian Baseball Championship Gold medal icon.svg .438 BA (7-for-16), 7 RBI, 3 R
All-Star (OF), RBI title
2000  Australia Olympic Games Bronze medal icon.svg .182 BA (4-for-22), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R
2002  South Korea Asian Games Gold medal icon.svg .364 BA (8-for-22), 3 RBI, 4 R
2003  Japan Asian Baseball Championship Bronze medal icon.svg .455 BA (5-for-11), 3 RBI
2006  Qatar Asian Games Bronze medal icon.svg .000 BA (0-for-7)

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Park announced his retirement". Newsis. Retrieved 18 May 2013.