‘-10kg’ Kang Baek Ho, exhausted, ‘Hulhul’
A sharpened jawline, but still plenty of power. Kang Baek-ho (23-KT Wiz) is back in good shape.
Kang Baek-ho started the game against the Samsung Lions at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on April 21 as the No. 7 designated hitter and hit a game-winning three-run home run to give his team the win.
With runners on second and third in the top of the second inning, Kang took a 136 km/h two-seam fastball from opposing pitcher Lee Jae-ik and arched it over the left-center field fence. It was Baek-ho Kang’s sixth home run of the season. It was his first home run in two and a half months, since May 7 against the NC Dinos.
There was a reason why it took so long to reactivate the home run gun. Baek-ho Kang was removed from the first team roster in early June with a cold and took over a month off. The cold was a problem, but it was more mental. He had been criticized for his “ceremonial baserunning” at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, and in May, he was in the news again when he allowed a run to score on a loose play. Combined with a cold and a psychological breakdown, he was sidelined for over a month to focus on his recovery.체스카지노
When he returned to the field in July, he was much more athletic than before. “I lost 10 kilograms of weight (during my recovery),” he said, “and my body is lighter, my swing speed is faster, and I feel like I’m hitting the ball at the right time,” he explained.
He also got rid of some of his emotional burdens. Behind him was the support of his fans. When Kang Baek-ho was criticized at the end of May, various fans sent him coffee tea to cheer him up. In the stands of KT’s home stadium, KT Wiz Park in Suwon, a placard reading, “Keep your shoulders up, don’t give up, keep fighting!” was erected.
Recently, he received a special gift. Fans made a bus advertisement for him on his 29th birthday. “I was really surprised to see a bus with a happy birthday message on it on social media,” he said. “The fans have been so supportive on and off the field. I am truly grateful for their support, and I will play harder in the second half of the season.”
The return of Kang Baek-ho, who is lighter in body and mind, is a big boost for KT. He’ll be able to add more weight to the center of the batting order of Anthony Alford, Byung-ho Park, and Sung-woo Jang. With Kang back and determined, it will be interesting to see if KT can find their second-half magic.