It is the end of the golden generation. Now, Korean baseball must be reborn.
The Korean baseball team finished the 2023 World Baseball Classic with 2 wins, 2 losses and 3rd place in Group B. As a result, Korea, which was confirmed to be eliminated in the first round of three consecutive tournaments following the 2013 WBC and 2017 WBC, ended the tournament journey with regret.
After the game, Kim Hyun-soo said, “I don’t think it’s the last time, but it seems to be the last time.” revealed
The retirement of Kim Hyun-soo, the last deficit of the so-called ‘golden generation’, is a symbolic scene that proves that an era is coming to an end.
Kim Hyun-soo was a living legend with a batting average of 0.364 (76 hits in 209 bats) / 4 home runs / 40 runs scored / 46 RBIs in 59 games in a total of 9 international tournaments before this tournament. He has been active in a total of 10 tournaments up to this tournament and has the most national team career among active fielders.
However, in this WBC, he took the captaincy and recorded a batting average of 0.111 (1 hit in 9 at-bats) in the last 3 games, and in the match against the Czech Republic, after a disappointing defense that became an excuse for an extra point, in the final game against China, he finished the tournament watching the performance of his juniors on the bench. .
Looking back, in all the glorious days of Korean baseball, there was always Kim Hyun-soo. 2008 Beijing Olympic Gold Medal, 2009 WBC Runner-up, 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games Gold Medal, 2014 Incheon Asian Games Gold Medal, 2015 WBSC Premier 12 Champion, 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games Gold Medal, 2019 Premier 12 Runner-up, etc. , only runner-up won twice.
At the same time, there was Kim Hyun-soo at the moments of disgraceful baseball in Korean baseball, such as being eliminated in the 1st round of the 2013 WBC, 4th place at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, and being eliminated in the 1st round of the 2023 WBC. However, the national team who supported the Taegeuk mark overcoming all these glory and disgrace have long since disappeared into the dark side of history.
Regarding the sluggish performance of this tournament, many point to the fact that a new generation of Korean baseball has not appeared since 메이저놀이터 the main players who led the 2006 WBC semifinals, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the 2009 WBC runner-up are the biggest reasons. In a way, it is also true that many top-class players have not been born to replace them for a period of 10 to 20 years.
The most iconic pitchers in Korean baseball at this time were Ryu Hyun-jin, Kim Gwang-hyun, Oh Seung-hwan, Bong Joong-geun, and Yoon Seok-min. In the 2006 WBC semifinals, the beginning of glory, which was an earlier period, former and current major leaguers such as Kim Byung-hyun, Kim Seon-woo, Seo Jae-eung, and Park Chan-ho were active as pitchers side by side.
The same goes for beasts. In the glory days, there were many players who were considered legends by position in the KBO League, such as Lee Seung-yeop, Lee Jong-beom, Kim Dong-ju, Lee Dae-ho, Kim Tae-gyun, Jeong Geun-woo, Kim Hyun-soo, Lee Jin-young, Lee Beom-ho, Park Gyeong-wan, Kang Min-ho, Park Jin-man, and Choi Jeong.
There are also numerous players that have not been mentioned. Just looking at the fact that most of the players who played an active part in the national team at that time belong to the current 40 legends of the KBO League, you can fully guess the national competitiveness at the time.
However, as these generations disappeared one by one and descended from the prowess of the heyday, Korean baseball also gradually stagnated, or rather regressed. Even though it was growing gradually, in the meantime, international competitiveness was being strengthened at a rapid pace.
It is a vivid reality that we witnessed in this tournament through Japan, where there are many pitchers who throw balls in the mid-to-late 150km range in the entry, Rocky Sasaki recorded 164km, and a world-class player named Shohei Ohtani is active, and the globalization of baseball that hit the 2023 WBC. If Korea cannot quickly get ahead of this trend and even catch up at the same speed, survival on the international stage will be far away.
The World Baseball Classic (WBC) 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) Group B final match against China on the 13th, where the baseball team set a new record for the most points scored and the most points difference in a game with a 22-2 cold game victory, once again proved the need for a generational change. It was also a game. In this game, Korea built a starting lineup centered on backup members and young players who had not been able to play as a starting lineup. And although the opponent is weak, he showed the hottest attack power ever in the WBC.
In the end, generational change can also be accomplished through the accumulation and growth of these experiences. The average age of the Korean baseball team was 29.4 years old, which was considerably older than Japan’s 27.3 years old, who had the youngest team in the tournament.
In particular, in the case of the pitching staff, unlike the veterans who have been building the national team’s entry, a large number of pitchers in their 20s were selected and the mound was packed with young guns with an average age of 27.1 years, the youngest pitching staff of the national team. Nonetheless, this tournament eventually went through trial and error due to poor condition management and lack of preparation, and it became an opportunity to feel the wall of the world stage once again. However, this can be the beginning of a change and at the same time a valuable experience.
On the other hand, Ya Su-jin’s aging was a serious problem. The average age of the Korean national team in this tournament was 31.7 years old, approaching 32 years old. Given that only Lee Jung-hoo and Kang Baek-ho were the only players in their 20s who became the key starting fielders, it is expected that the fielding team of the Korean national team will need a faster generational change.
After the end of this tournament, it is very likely that many veteran players will choose to retire from the national team, both officially and unofficially. The keynote of the national team is also likely to draw a long-term blueprint rather than going all-in on current results.
The glory days of the past are over. However, the end of the golden age could be the beginning of another generation. An era has passed, but a new era in Korean baseball will surely come again someday.