A trio of veterans who spent their youth with the LG Twins will burn their final flame with the KT Wiz. The trio, who are a combined 114 years old, will play romantic baseball in the 2024 season.
KT Wiz selected veteran side arm pitcher Woo Gyu-min, 38, of the Samsung Lions with the sixth pick of the first round in the 2023 KBO Secondary Draft held on March 22. It marked the reunion of the trio of Park Kyung-soo (39), Park Byung-ho (37), and Woo Gyu-min, who started their careers with the LG Twins and spent their 20s together.굿모닝토토
“It’s really weird because we’ve been saying for a few years now, half jokingly and half seriously, that we’d like to play together for a year, but I never thought it would become a reality. I’m so happy,” Park said with a smile, adding, “I think (Woo) Gyu-min coming to our team will be good for us and good for him. We haven’t had a veteran in the pitching department since Ahn Young-myung retired, and I think Gyu-min will have a positive impact on the younger players,” he said, welcoming his best friend to KT.
Park, Woo, and Byung-ho Park were all LG’s brightest hopes nearly 20 years ago. Seongnam-go’s Park was selected in the first round in 2003, Whimun-go’s Woo Gyu-min was selected in the third round of the second draft with the 19th pick, and two years later, Seongnam-go’s Park Byung-ho joined the team in the first round in 2005. At the time, Park was a giant second baseman, Woo was a specialty submarine, and Park Byung-ho had the makings of a home run hitter.
The trio spent LG’s darkest days together, but Park’s departure was the final straw. Park Byung-ho donned a Nexen jersey in a 2011 trade, followed by Park Kyung-soo, who signed a four-year, 1.82 billion won deal with KT in 2015, and Woo Kyu-min, who signed a four-year, 6.5 billion won deal with Samsung in 2017. While Park established himself as KT’s signature star, Park Byung-ho signed a free agent contract with KT in 2022 for three years and 3 billion won, and Woo Gyu-min was selected by KT in the second round of the draft, finally reuniting the trio.
“When Kyu-min was selected in the second round of the draft, I was screaming at the top of my lungs, ‘It’s Kyung-soo!’ “We were lacking a sidearm pitcher, and we talked a lot about how much we wanted to work with Lee Kang-cheol,” said Park. “He had a great fastball and (Jang) was a great pitcher. When you combine his fastball with (Jang) Sung-woo’s lead, you get the feeling that the first inning will be over quickly.”
He continued, “Gyu-min said all sorts of weird things, like, ‘If I live in this house, is it close to your house,’ and ‘If you come home late from an away game, you can sleep at my house’. I felt like I was back in my 20s when I was too immature for our age. He was just talking about useless things. I said, “Let’s meet and talk about it again.
Now that Park has been extended, he has another mission in addition to his offseason personal training: finding a place for Woo Gyu-min to live. “I’m going to find him a place to live. I’ll have to pretend,” he laughs, adding, “He keeps capturing things and sending them to me. He keeps capturing and sending me things, like, ‘Is this close to your house,’ and ‘Can you walk to it,’ and I love coming to KT.”
Park Byung-ho, the youngest member of the trio, also welcomed the reunion with Woo Gyu-min. “It was good to be on the same team with (Park) Kyung-soo after a long time, but I was so happy to see (Woo) Gyu-min come as well, and I called him first,” Park said. “The players I had good memories of when I was younger have become top-level players, so I met them again. I hope that the players who have fewer days left to play baseball will rely on each other and have fun together,” he said, expressing great expectations for the 2024 season of romance baseball with his brothers.