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Kim Sun-woo Returns to Doosan after 11 Years

Posted January. 11, 2008 07:24,   


“I thought I would live my life simply as a father than pursue my passion,” Kim Sun-woo said.

The 31-year-old Korean pitcher, who once played in the U.S.’s Major League Baseball (MLB), returned to Korea after 11 years.

Doosan announced Thursday that they concluded a 1.5 billion won deal -- 900 million won signing bonus, 400 million won annual salary, and 200 million won in options.

The amount is the same as Seo Jae-eung, a 31-year-old colleague, who signed a 1.5 billion won deal with the Kia Tigers -- 800 million won signing bonus, 500 million won annual salary, and 200 million won in options.

Kim started his career with Doosan (at the time called OB) in 1996, right after graduating from high school. Later, the right-hander dropped out of Korea University in 1997, to play with the Boston Red Sox, Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds, and San Francisco Giants.

Kim said his two sons were the reason he returned to Korea.

“I thought my life was more important than others. Watching my sons failing to adapt to the U.S. made me seriously wonder whether I could maintain my life as a father and also be appreciated as a baseball player. I eventually decided to come home.”

Asked whether he could adapt to Korea’s pitcher’s mound, he replied, “Age is only a number. I made lots of changes in pitching by throwing slow balls instead of fast ones. With more experience, I learned how to pitch on the mound comfortably.”

He’s chosen the number, 32, since he was a middle school student.

He said to those who want to play baseball in the U.S., “It is necessary to get a glimpse of what a professional baseball player is like. You are always welcome if you need advice.”

Doosan coach Kim Gyeong-moon said, “I gained more confidence in managing the pitching staff than last year since Kim Sun-woo joined us. We will show our fans positive results.”

This year’s Doosan starting pitchers are left-hander Gary Rath (35), Matt Randle (31), and Kim Sun-woo.

As Kim returns to Korea, only three Korean players -- Park Chan-ho of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kim Byung-hyun of the Florida Marlins, and Chu Shin-soo of the Cleveland Indians -- remain in the U.S.