“Even after failing the entry…” LG’s winning ring and prize money, high school graduate rookie said, “It was a lot of comfort, and I’m honored to contribute to the victory.”

Although he didn’t make the roster for the Korean Series, there was one player who stayed with the team until the end and was able to be part of the victory ceremony. This was “Submarine High School Rookie” Park Myung-geun (19).

A member of the LG bullpen, Park appeared in 57 games this season, posting a 4-3 record with five saves and a 5.08 ERA in nine appearances. In 51 1/3 innings pitched, he allowed 49 hits (4 home runs), 28 walks, 40 strikeouts, 31 runs (29 earned), a 1.50 WHIP, and a .249 batting average.굿모닝토토

Park Myung-geun is a pitcher that Yoon Kyung-yup had a lot of faith in when he took over the reins this season. A graduate of Raon High School, Park was selected in the third round (27th overall) of the 2023 KBO Draft and was the only rookie to enter spring training before the season began. He was the only rookie among the 43 players in camp.

LG’s starting rotation collapsed early in the season in April and May, shaking up the traditional bullpen of Jung Woo-young, Lee Jung-yong, and Ko Woo-seok. Ham Deok-joo, Yoo Young-chan, and Park Myung-geun were the “Plan B” bullpen. Park had a strong first half, going 4-0 with five saves and a 3.25 ERA in 36 games, but an elbow injury in early July sidelined him, and he finished the season with a 3-3 record and a 9.39 ERA in the second half without a win.

As a result, Park did not make the 30-man roster for the Korean Series. Manager Yoon Kyung-yeop called him aside before the Korean Series to console and encourage him with the news of his exclusion. “Honestly, when I heard those words from the coach, I was a little dazed, so I don’t remember exactly what he said,” Park said, “but I think he said something like, ‘I’m sorry, but I didn’t make the roster.

“If I had continued to show my good form, I would have been able to make the team,” Park said, adding, “I don’t think I can do anything about it because I didn’t show good form in the second half.”

Park Myung-geun (second from right) greets the rookies at the 2023 LG Twins New Year’s Day ceremony at Jamsil Stadium on Jan. 4. /Photo=LG Twins official social media

LG’s Park Myung-geun. /Photo=Newsis
Still, Park traveled with the team throughout the Korean Series, sharing the highs and lows. This was due to the consideration of LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop and the club. Before the Korean Series, Yeom said, “Park Myung-geun did a good job during the season, and Lee Jae-won delayed his enlistment because of me, so I owe him a debt of gratitude. If we win, I will give them the same championship rings and dividends as the players on the roster.”

“But they let me accompany my brothers like this, and when they told me that they were going to take care of my championship ring at the time (of my elimination), it was very comforting. I realized that both the club and my brothers were thinking of me a lot,” he said.

However, Park Myung-geun enjoyed the joy of winning the championship more than anyone else. “I was disappointed that I didn’t make the roster, but my team won the championship. I’m more honored that I was able to contribute to the championship by playing and performing well from my first year, but I think I was able to come this far because I did well in the first half,” he said, showing a positive mindset.

“In the second half of the season, I think I was a little bit weakened by my elbow injury,” Park concluded, “I realized that it’s really not easy to play a full season. I realized once again that my brothers are amazing. Now that I have played a full season, I will try to become a player who can play well in the first and second half without any injuries next year.”

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