“162 wins” just made up, “I’ve never been to a hotel rooftop”
The KIA Tigers’ Yang Hyun-jong has won 162 games in his career, moving 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.
On the 27th, KIA won 6-3 at home against the LG Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field. On the mound, Yang Hyun-jong pitched 6⅔ innings of seven-hit ball with two walks and three strikeouts in the 6-3 win, 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, ahead of Jung Min-chul’s 161. Only Song Jin-woo’s 210 wins now stand above him on the all-time wins list. Amongst the legends of the game, Yang Hyun-jong is a living legend.스포츠토토
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 “gruelling” training. “To be honest, I didn’t realise it at the time. Coach Lee Kang-cheol and Coach Toshio Kanbe pushed me to train hard, especially Coach Kanbe, who kept me shadow pitching, which gave me the basics I have now.”
“I trained a lot for a pitcher,” Kim said. At that time, he was not quite established (as a pitcher), but I think it’s great that he endured it and made it his own. I think he is who he is today because he endured those strong training sessions,” Kim added.
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 doing that for about two years,” he said. “I’m grateful for all the gifts, but I don’t think I’ve found my form. “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 and I did what he asked me to do. When I went to the rooftop, (current coach) Lee Kang-chul was always there. When I was working on my form, Coach Kanbe and Lee were always there. Looking back, I think the reason I can throw so well now is because my form was shaped by 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 gap of 48 wins. Even if he wins 10 games a year, including this year, he’ll still have to play baseball consistently for at least four more years. It’s not going to be an easy journey given his age. But it’s also not impossible.
“It’s still a long way off, but I think it’s possible if I keep doing what I’m doing. I think I’ll be fine if I keep rotating without getting injured. The most important thing is thorough management, and since Hyunjong is so good at taking care of his body, I think it will be possible.”
Yang Hyun-jong is also aiming for a goal that, while not easy, is definitely attainable. “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 need to work hard to advance that record little by little.”
“You don’t know what’s going to happen, and if you don’t get lazy towards that end goal and focus on each game, each game, and keep doing well, you’ll be close again at some point. I want to play with that hopeful mindset,” he said, sharing his mindset for the many matches he will play in the future.