“He deserves to be loved by the fans. He deserves the respect of the players.”
The NC Park Gun-woo saga has finally come to an end. He returned to the first team 18 days after being demoted to the second team following the work ethic controversy against Suwon KT on March 3. Considering the All-Star break, it was actually a 10-day return.
Park met with head coach Kang Myung-hwa at Changwon NC Park on July 7. He also played in the Futures League, reaffirming his team spirit. In the All-Star Game on the 15th, he bent his head at 90 degrees to deliver his protective gear to Kang Myung-ho, who was serving as the first-base coach, after hitting a single.
Park joined the first team training at Changwon NC Park on the 17th. From then on, his return was practically a foregone conclusion at the start of the second half. As expected, Park returned on the 21st against Daejeon Hanwha. He started in right field at No. 3 and had one hit.
Before the game, Park said, “I will work hard for the team in the remaining games. I have to keep playing baseball. We need to finish this season well.” A similar situation occurred in 2021 when he was with Doosan, so there shouldn’t be any more controversy.
Kang did not disclose the specifics of his meeting with Park, and it seems that the decision to reinstate him was based on the secondary coaching staff’s evaluation of his work ethic in the secondary team and the players’ opinions, as previously announced. Park Gun-woo was definitely a changed man.
There is a saying that people don’t change, but Kang Shin-ho believes that Park Gun-woo must change, and because he has seen that, he promoted him to the first team. Kang made a meaningful comment before the game against Hanwha on the 21st. Not necessarily because of the controversy, but because of what a leader can say to a player, and what a life coach can say to a junior before becoming a leader.
“Park Gun-woo was not sent down to the second team because of his personality,” he said. “A player of Park Gun-woo’s caliber should be loved by the fans. And he should be respected by the players.” The idea is that a player should not only play baseball well, but also leave a good impact on the organization and society as a true professional.
Kang also emphasized the importance of one-team mentality, or team first. This is a mindset that every professional athlete should have, regardless of who they are. He also said that a player of Park’s caliber should “do his best to develop Korean baseball.” 스포츠토토
It’s not that Kang had anything against Park or hated him, but that he wanted to remind a player of Park’s caliber of how to behave. Coach Kang is a great life mentor before he is a coach. And that was the end of the Park incident that erupted earlier this month. The lesson is clear. No individual is greater than the team. And if you’re good at baseball, you should be a force for good in society.