No. 61 Kwak Bin’s strong determination “I’ll do half as much as Park Chan-ho”

Right-handed pitcher Kwak Bin (24, Doosan Bears) of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) baseball team wears number 61. In Doosan, his team, his uniform number is 47, but not this time. Kwak Bin laughed, saying, “Actually, he wanted to wear number 47, but (I) Seong-beom had an older brother, so he wore number 61.”

On the 20th (Korean time), Kwak Bin played well in a practice match against the KIA Tigers at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson, Arizona, USA. He stepped on the mound as the national team’s third pitcher and hit five batters in a row. Of the nine national team pitchers who took the mound that day, only Kwak Bin and Sohn Joon (5 hitters, no runs) did not send out a single hitter. According to the KIA power analysis, Kwak Bin put a fastball of up to 148km/h into the catcher’s mitt. He also tested a variety of curveballs and sliders, including his changeup, his primary weapon.

After the game, he said, 스포츠토토“It was my first appearance this season, and it was better than I thought. I am very satisfied.” (Contrary to concerns) it seems to have come up well,” he was satisfied.

This is the first WBC event for Kwak Bin as an adult national representative. Everything is new and everything is fun. When asked by reporters, “Who is the national team’s role model?”, he vigorously replied, “Since I wore number 61, I will do half as well as senior Park Chan-ho.” Park Chan-ho, the ‘Korean Express’, is the main player who led the national team to advance to the semifinals at the 2006 WBC. Kwak Bin said, “It’s not exactly everything, but I remember throwing it.”

Kwak Bin, who made a name for himself as a national ace during Baemyeong High School, wore a Doosan uniform as the first nomination in 2018. However, in October 2018, he underwent Tommy John surgery (elbow ligament replacement surgery) and missed 2019 and 2020 entirely. As he passed through a long and long tunnel of rehabilitation treatment, he passed many hurdles in his baseball life.

After returning in 2021, he had trouble controlling for a while. However, last year, he played the first regular innings of his debut (144 innings) and took a place in the starting rotation. As a result, he had to play the WBC with his outstanding players. Kwak Bin said, “I just want to get close to all the players. It’s so much fun, and since I’m (together with) someone who is good at baseball, every day is fun.” 

For Kwak Bin, who has a history of injuries, the WBC can be a little burdensome. This is because it can be overloaded as it is a competition held before the opening. In particular, Kwak Bin can wait in the bullpen during the WBC period, not being selected. He needs to prepare his starting body for the bullpen. He said, “Of course, I’m burdened because I haven’t started (preparing for the season) so quickly. But since it’s my first national team and all of our teams want great results in the WBC tournament, I think we should throw it with one mind.”

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