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Park Chan-ho Wins 100th Game

Posted June. 06, 2005 06:25,   


The “Korean Express” Park Chan-ho (32, Texas Rangers) has finally achieved his 100th victory in the Major League Baseball.

On June 5, Park allowed 11 hits and six runs by the fifth inning in an away-match against the Kansas City Royals held at Kauffman Stadium, but garnered a lucky victory thanks to the Texas Rangers’ explosive offense, which led the team to a come-from-behind victory by a score of 14-9.

It was Park’s 100th win against 73 losses for his career, which he has accumulated with effort and tears 10 years after starting playing full time in Major League Baseball, and in 12 years since he made his debut as the first Korean player in Major League Baseball after completing two years at Hanyang University in 1994. Park’s 100th win is the 542nd player in the 130-year history of Major League Baseball, and the 40th as a starter currently on a roster. And he is the second Asian player to notch 100 wins after Japanese pitcher Hideo Nomo (121 wins 106 losses, Tampa Bay Devil Rays).

Concerning his 100th win, Park said, “There is still a long way to go, and I’m very appreciative of my fans and teammates.”

In hot and humid weather consisting of 28-degree Celsius heat and 60 percent humidity, Park got through shaky innings early in the game, but gained a foothold in a come-from-behind victory by striking out four hitters in a row for the first time in the season in the third inning with one out.

Park’s splendid achievement shines the meaning of this year all the more.

Because this year marks 100 years since a missionary from the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Philip Loring Gillette, introduced baseball in Korea in 1905.

In particular, Park had earned a mere five wins over the last two years while suffering injury and slumps after moving to the Texas Rangers from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002, however, starting this year, Park showed signs of a brilliant revival by making five consecutive wins, and winning six wins (against just one loss) after undergoing tough rehabilitation training.

Jong-SeokKim kjs0123@donga.com