Incheon International Airport on January 29th. NC Dinos veteran Park Seok-min (38) appeared with a tanned face. Even at a glance, he looked like he had lost a lot of weight. He casually said, “I normally lose weight during this period,” but I felt a strong will to revive.
Park Seok-min ‘I’m making 2023 a year of revenge’ / My Daily
Park Seok-min ‘Spreads the ball vigorously’/My Daily
Park Seok-min has fallen since 2021. Due to the COVID-19 drinking scandal, various minor injuries, and various numerical declines due to decreased athletic ability. When the three-year FA contract with NC for 3.4 billion won ended, he signed a contract for only 50 million won this season. Last year’s annual salary was cut by a whopping 650 million won (about 93%) from 700 million won.메이저놀이터
He has already received 13 billion won (9.6 billion won in 2015-2016 4 years) alone from his free agent contract. FA conglomerates ranked 11th. However, money was no longer important to Park Seok-min. The only thing that mattered to him was restoring his self-esteem. And he wanted to repay his apologies to NC fans for his poor performance over the past two years. He did not attend the New Year’s party in January and went to personal training in the Philippines to train alone.
Interview requests were persistently and politely declined. He said he had nothing to say and that he would do well was the last official comment he heard from him at the airport. He did the same when visiting spring camp in Tucson, Arizona.
Instead, Park Seok-min’s sincerity was fully felt. He was seen sweating and fighting under the blazing sun. He appeared to have trained more than his younger protégés. Director Kang In-kwon knew the sincerity of his senior. He was selected as the starting third baseman for the opening day in Tucson.
The logic was not that team chemistry would be achieved by giving veterans a chance first. Director Kang In-kwon actually highly evaluated Park Seok-min’s preparedness. If that was the case, he thought it was right to give him a chance first. So Park Seok-min took the ‘last’ chance.
The game against LG in Jamsil on April 19 was a tragedy. He injured his hamstring while sprinting to first base after hitting. To that day, he was not off to a great start, with a batting average of .250 with 1 home run and 6 RBIs, but it wasn’t the worst either. He returned in June after rehabbing for a month and a half, but it was difficult to provide stable opportunities anymore. Meanwhile, Seo Ho-cheol completely stepped up and took over as the starting third baseman.
Park Seok-min could no longer play after the KIA game on July 25 due to a toe injury. He was sent down to the second team, but it didn’t mean much for a player with this level of experience to be rehabilitated and play in the Futures League. It is known that at this time, he made a decision to retire and hinted at his intention to the club.
In fact, an NC official said, “Park Seok-min wanted to play with his son… “It was once said. His son, Park Jun-hyeon, is a first-year pitcher at Cheonan Bukil High School. This is only possible if Park Seok-min lasts for three more years starting next year and his son joins the first professional team, but as his father, it is natural for him to want to show his son a good performance.
Even though that didn’t happen, Park Seok-min lived a good enough baseball life. He joined the Samsung Lions as a first-round pick in 2004 and played a leading role in the Samsung Dynasty. Although he was overshadowed by Choi Jeong (SSG), he is a legendary third baseman just as good as Choi Jeong.
In a total of 1,697 games, 5,363 at-bats, 1,537 hits, batting average of 0.287, 269 home runs, 1,041 RBI, 882 runs, slugging percentage of 0.491, on-base percentage of 0.402, OPS of 0.893. It would be best to finish well and leave, but realistically, leaving while applauding is not easy. If you’ve done this much, it’s enough to applaud when you leave.