Sunday Mar 26, 2023

Former director Kim Young-deok, both criticism and records become history

He passed away at the age of 87… Coexistence of underestimation and overvaluation Side by side

An unexpected sad news was delivered to baseball fans during the Lunar New Year holiday. Former manager Kim Yeong-deok, the legendary manager of the first generation of Korean professional baseball and the coach who won the first championship in the Korean Series that will never be broken, has passed

away. Former director Kim’s mortuary was set up in Room 3 of the funeral hall at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, and his funeral is at 10:30 am on the 25th.

For a generation of old Korean baseball fans, Kim Young-deok is a name they will never forget. ‘Samkim’, directed by Kim Eung-yong, Kim Seong-geun, and Kim In-shik, who are often regarded as the elders representing the first generation of Korean baseball, has been active in the baseball world until relatively recently and is familiar to young fans, but competes at the same time as a senior several years above them. Kim Young-deok, who did it, is relatively quickly forgotten. 

Most of the fans who remember Kim Young-deok think of him as a leader in his professional days, but surprisingly few know that he was a mythical figure worthy of being named in the lineage of Korean pitchers, even from his playing days alone.

Born in Japan in 1936, Kim Yeong-deok, a Korean-Japanese, was active as a pitcher for the Nankai Hawks (now Fukuoka Softbank) of the Japanese professional baseball from 1956 to 1963. He made his first-team debut in 1959, and as the Hawks came to the top that year, he was named as the team’s first-ever Japan Series champion, although he himself did not play.

Kim Young-deok’s first-team record during his time with the Hawks was 7-9 with an average ERA of 3.57 in 69 games (158.2 innings). Compared to the decent earned run average, the number of games played is too small. At the time, it was in the 50s and 60s when it was taken for granted that the player base was thin and a few key ace-class pitchers could throw an absurdly large number of innings by modern standards. At that time, the Hawks were a strong team that commanded the era with their pitching power, so they had no choice but to have fewer opportunities. In addition, Kim Young-deok claimed that he was secretly discriminated against within the team at the time because he was a Korean-Japanese.

Kim Young-deok retired from Japanese professional baseball at the end of the 1963 season when he was 28 years old and moved to his home country, Korea. It is said that the fact that his junior Kim Seong-geun, who was a Korean-Japanese like him and did not stand out much in baseball, a Japanese society, came to Korea and settled down.

At that time, Korea was still in the era of unemployment baseball, long before the professional was launched. Kim Young-deok, who was treated as an ordinary pitcher in Japan, showed the difference between the professional class and conquered domestic unemployment baseball at once.

Through three teams, Korea Shipping Corporation (1964) – Crown Beer (1965) – Hanil Bank (1966-1969), Kim Young-deok achieved one perfect game and two no-hit no-runs. In 1964, the first year of his debut, he gave up just 9 runs in 33 games and 255 innings, setting an earned run average of just 0.32, a record that could only come out of a cartoon. His peak was in 1967, appearing in 25 games, achieving a 17-1 win rate of 94% and an earned run average of 0.49.

Some argue that Shin Yong-gyun, who is also a Korean-Japanese, started the slider, which was considered the main weapon, but the evaluation of the baseball world agrees that Kim Young-deok was the person who spread the power of the slider pitch, which was unfamiliar in Korea at the time. In addition, Kim Young-deok was able to use forkball and sinker freely, and even until his days in unemployment baseball, he showed versatility enough to record a batting average of 300 as a hitter according to the generalized pitching job.

If you trace the genealogy of ‘the best pitchers ever in Korea’, including the late Choi Dong-won, Seon Dong-yeol, Park Chan-ho, Ryu Hyun-jin, and Kim Gwang-hyun, to pre-professional amateur-employment baseball, the originator is Kim Young-deok, the ‘ancient monster’. In addition, Kim Yeong-deok started his leadership life while playing as a manager and player at Hanil Bank, the last team he played as a player, and experienced a professional coach and championship, so he is also the first generation of a representative ‘star coach’ in the Korean sports world.

After coaching Hanil Bank, Jangchung High School, and Bukil High School, Kim Young-deok served as the first coach of the OB Bears when professional baseball was launched in 1982. Looking at the founding members at the time, they had ace Park Chul-soon, who set a record of 22 consecutive victories in the first year, as well as luxurious members familiar to old fans, such as Kim Kyung-moon, Yun Dong-gyun, Kim Woo-yeol, Shin Gyeong-sik, Gye Hyeong-cheol, and Kim Yu-dong. In addition, the coaching staff was lined with Jamryongs who would make legendary achievements in Korean baseball as leaders, such as batting coach Lee Kwang-hwan and pitching coach Kim Seong-geun.

Kim Young-deok’s OB won the first league with a record of 28 wins and 8 losses in professional baseball, which was divided into pre- and post-season leagues at the time, and won its first championship in the Korean Series that year by defeating the Samsung Lions, the second-season champions.

Since then, Kim Young-deok has been as successful as a player as a leader. He served as the manager of Samsung Lions (1984-86) and Binggrae Eagles (now Hanwha, 1988-93) and steadily led the team to fall baseball, establishing himself as a representative representative of the early days of professional baseball. In particular, in the 1985 season, he achieved an unprecedented combined championship in the first half and second half, and was the only one in professional baseball history to win without a Korean Series, and became the first manager in professional baseball history to win twice, marking the peak of his leadership career.

Kim Yeong-deok led the team to the Korean Series four times during the five years he took office at Binggrae, but unfortunately did not win the championship here. If so, Kim Young-deok would have become the protagonist of the unprecedented ‘winning in three teams’ record in Korean baseball history. Kim Young-deok dropped the baton after falling to 5th place, the worst result since Binggrae took over in the 1993 season, and this was his last season as a first-team coach in his entire coaching career.

During the 11 seasons in the KBO League, Kim Young-deok won 5 times in the regular league (combined during the first half of the season), won 2 championships (1 time in the Korean Series), and won a total of 1207 games, 707 wins, 20 draws and 480 losses (.596 win rate). left It is only two seasons (OB in 1983 and Binggrae in 1993, each ranked 5th) that the team he led ranked less than 3rd – 50% or less.

After that, he served as a pitching instructor and second-team manager (1996-98) for the LG Twins, his last career on the field. Compared to the fact that he was only in his mid-50s when he resigned from coach Binggrae, and each team had made certain achievements, there is a strange feeling that he disappeared from the field too early. This contrasts with the rivals and juniors Kim Eung-yong, Kim In-shik, and Kim Seong-geun, who were active in the field for a long time even after their 60s.

As with all historical figures, light and shadow, fact and misunderstanding, praise and criticism coexisted in Kim Young-deok. Until now, the universal image of old baseball fans known about Kim Yeong-deok was the so-called ‘original Kim Gyeong-moon’, a second-in-command in later years and a weak manager in the short term compared to the regular season.

This is half right and half wrong. First of all, Kim Young-deok is a person who has experienced the summit several times as a player and as a leader. However, the reason why he was labeled as the No. 2 player is the 1984 Korean Series, which is still talked about due to Choi Dong-won’s historic 4-win turnaround, and the image of the Binggrae days when he was frustrated by Kim Eung-yong’s Haetae Tigers, who were the strongest at the time, repeatedly. It’s because it’s engraved.

In fact, while Kim Young-deok won the KBO League twice, he only won the Korean Series once in the first year, and in the subsequent 6 Korean Series challenges, he only finished runner-up. It is undeniable that most of them were ‘upset’ even though they were evaluated as being ahead of their opponents in regular season performance or power, so they were weak coaches in the Korean series.

Also, like most of the leaders of that era, Kim Yeong-deok had a strong image of a ‘heartless and ruthless fighter’ who did not choose any means to win. At the time of the championship in the first year of 1982, Ace Park Chul-soon played 24-4 and 224.2 innings, but at the time, the league system was 80 games, and Park Chul-soon was responsible for nearly half of the 56 wins won by OB at the time.

It was pointed out that this was abnormal even at the time when there was much less awareness of the problem of overwork, and in fact, Park Chul-soon suffered an injury after winning the championship in the first year and had to spend a difficult baseball life. Coach Kim Yeong-deok had to hear criticism that he traded Park Chul-soon’s player life despite winning the championship in the first year. Kang Byeong-cheol, who pitted Choi Dong-won in KS in 1984, and Kim Seong-geun, who changed the shoulders of countless pitchers, are the reasons why Kim Yeong-duk received negative reviews even though he was the winning manager. However, Park Chul-soon, the party involved, denied and defended the rumors of forced abuse by director Kim Young-deok in a later interview.

In addition, Kim Young-deok was a person who did not hesitate to intentionally defeat a specific team or ‘manipulate the game’ to give his players the title in order to achieve his performance. The ‘losing game’ that changed the fate of the Korean series in 1984 is Kim Young-deok’s representative dark history. At that time, Samsung, who won the first league championship and reserved the Korean Series, deliberately lost the game to choose Lotte, which they judged to be relatively easy between Lotte and OB ahead of the postseason.

Contrary to the coach’s intention, the second-level players who were sent out at the time did so well that they took the lead, so the first-team players were put in to commit blunders. At the time, baseball fans who witnessed this vividly through terrestrial broadcasting were greatly angered and received great criticism. The expression ‘criticism is short, but the record is eternal’, known as Kim Young-deok’s representative quote, was also born at this time.

However, at the time, Samsung suffered a shocking defeat to Lotte, whom they considered easy due to Choi Dong-won’s superhuman counterattack in the Korean Series, and ended up in runner-up, becoming a laughing stock. The 1984 Korean Series is still known as the ‘Justice Realization Series’ among baseball fans. Samsung built up its pride by winning the combined championship in the first and second seasons the following year, but in the short-term Korean Series, it did not win for a long time, and it was only in 2002, 18 years later, that it won its first championship and was freed from a long dark history.

Director Kim Yeong-deok apologized at a later date, saying, “I’m really sorry about the Korean series in 1984.” However, regarding the numerous record manipulation allegations of players such as Lee Man-soo, Yoo Seung-an, Lee Jung-hoon, and Song Jin-woo to ‘push the title’, he said, “As a manager, I needed to be considerate of the players who sacrificed for the team. Even back then, I will do the same.” He did not admit any wrongdoing. However, it should be taken into account that he is a person who inherited the Japanese-style baseball view of the 1950s and 1960s.

Kim Young-deok claimed that he was subtly discriminated against in both Korea and Japan because he was a Korean-Japanese. The fact that he had to obsess over achievements regardless of the means and methods, and the reason why he was relatively quickly forgotten in the mainstream baseball world after leaving the field despite his brilliant track record as a baseball player, are not irrelevant to this background. The joys and sorrows of being a Korean in Japan and having to live as a ‘borderline’ because of being a Japanese in Korea is a repertoire often mentioned by baseball players from Koreans in Japan, such as Kim Seong-geun.

But this, too, needs some filtering. Baek In-cheon and Kim Seong-geun are not one or two people who worked in Japan and then came to Korea and established themselves more successfully for a long time. Even Kim Young-deok himself did not know about the days of professional baseball in Japan, but in Korea, he was a person who was consistently favored and benefited more than anyone else in the mainstream baseball world, as he went through three professional team leaders from his days in unemployment baseball. He said that he first set foot in his homeland in his 30s, but because of his fluent Korean skills, there were many cases in which general fans did not know that he was a Korean-Japanese.

Rather, director Kim Young-deok was often involved in controversies over his personal activities rather than his nationality. He was plagued by suspicions that he intentionally usurped the positions of his juniors in the process of ascending to the managerial position, overtaking Kim Eung-yong when he was manager of Hanil Bank and Kim Seong-geun when he moved from OB to Samsung manager. 메이저놀이터

Because of this, Kim Eung-yong and Kim Seong-geun became an uncomfortable relationship during their active coaching days, and whenever they clashed with their team, there was an unfortunate incident where nervous battles and scuffles took place. Manager Kim Young-deok himself also caused controversy by assaulting an opposing player during a game with OB, his former teammate and former pupil, while coaching Samsung. In addition, during the days of coach Binggrae, there was a case of suspicion that he had neglected and rather condoned the faction within the team.

Coach Kim Young-deok was not originally an active personality, and despite his long career, it is known that his connections in the baseball world were not wide. He suffered from various criticisms while working as a manager, and suffered from phobia of people for a while. His refusal to appear in public after he retired from the field in the late 1990s and his distance from interactions with others was another reason why he was quickly forgotten in the baseball world. In addition, coach Kim said that he had a deep relationship with chairman Kim Jong-hee-Kim Seung-hyun, who treated him favorably during his time with the Eagles, his last team, and promised that he would “no longer serve as first-team coach for another team.” And in the end, he kept his promise.

To put it all together, director Kim Yeong-duk is a unique character in which overestimation and underestimation coexist side by side. It is clear that he is a baseball player who has left a legacy in Korean baseball history as a player and as a leader. However, some decisive mistakes and mistakes that he showed during his active career are strongly highlighted, and today there are more negative images.

History remembers the process as well as the outcome. Even if it is the same fact, the evaluation will be different depending on where you focus. The evaluation of the merits and demerits of baseball player Kim Yeong-deok has now become entirely up to fans and history. ‘All the accusations and records left by him will remain as part of history’.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top