With 162 career wins, KIA Tigers’ Yang Hyun-jong has moved into sole possession of second place on the KBO’s all-time wins list. It is a record that is the fruit of sweat and hard work.
KIA won 6-3 at home against the LG Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field on July 27. On the mound, Yang Hyun-jong pitched 6⅔ innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts in the team’s 6-3 victory, giving him three wins on the season and 162 career wins.
Tied with and then surpassed the legend. Yang’s 162 wins move him into sole possession of second place on the all-time wins list, surpassing Jung Min-chul’s 161. Now, only Song Jin-woo’s 210 wins stand above him on the all-time wins list. Yang is a living legend among legends.
A record that can only be achieved with consistency. Kia coach Kim Jong-guk, who has watched Yang Hyun-jong since he was a child, believes the secret to his record is “grueling” training. “To be honest, I didn’t realize it at the time. Coach Lee Kang-cheol and Coach Toshio Kanbe pushed him to train hard, especially Coach Kanbe, who kept him shadow pitching, which gave him the basics he has now.”
Kim said, “For a pitcher, I trained a lot. At that time, he wasn’t quite established (as a pitcher), but it’s great that he endured it and made it his own. I think he’s the pitcher he is today because of those strong training sessions.”
When asked about his memories of that time, Yang Hyun-jong immediately replied, “I did a lot.” “I also did (shadow pitching) when I went away. I think I’ve been to every rooftop of an away hotel. “I think I found my form after about two years of doing that,” he said, “and I think I found my form after the game and even the day before the start. “I’m grateful for all the gifts, but I think Coach Kanbe played the biggest role in my development as a starter,” he said.
“It was very hard, but I was young, so I did what he told me to do. When I went to the rooftop, (current coach) Lee Kang-cheol was always there. When I was working on my form, I always had Coach Kanbe and Coach Lee by my side. Looking back, I think that the reason I can throw so well now is because I developed my form through such consistent workouts when I was younger.”
Now that he’s moved into second place on the all-time wins list, he’s got his sights set on 210 wins. That’s a pretty big difference of 48 wins. Even if he wins 10 games every year, including this year, he’ll have to play baseball consistently for at least four more years. It’s not going to be an easy journey considering his age. But it’s also not impossible.
“It’s still a long way off, but I think I can do it if I keep doing what I’m doing now. I think I’ll be fine if I keep rotating without getting injured. The most important thing is thorough management, and since Hyun-jong is so good at taking care of his body, I think it will be possible.”토토사이트
Yang Hyun-jong also has a goal that, while not easy, is definitely within reach. “Numerically and realistically, I honestly think it’s very difficult,” he said, “It’s not a goal that’s right in front of me, it’s a goal that’s too far away. That’s why I think I have to work hard to advance that record little by little,” he said.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen, and if you don’t get lazy and focus on that end goal and keep doing well one game at a time, you’ll be close again at some point. I want to play with that hopeful mindset,” he said, sharing his mindset for the many games he will play in the future.