“Coach Kanbe pushed me to train hard” Kia pitcher’s 162 wins, a medal for sweat and hard work
- on May 27, 2023
“Coach Kanbe pushed me to train hard.”
KIA pitcher Yang Hyeon-jong reached 162 career wins on Sunday against Gwangju LG Electronics. Yang pitched 6⅔ innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Yang is now second on the KBO’s all-time wins list, passing MBC Sports Plus commentator Jung Min-cheol.
He is now 48 wins shy of the KBO’s메이저놀이터 all-time wins leader, Song Jin-woo (210). It is virtually impossible to do this in the current four-year, 10.3 billion won free agency period, but it will be possible if he signs a new contract from 2026. At 35, anything is possible if Yang stays healthy and plays well into his 40s.
Yang has never had to rehabilitate his arm or shoulder with a knife. He takes excellent care of his body. He”s known for following his own routine to stay healthy. He has pitched more than 170 innings in eight consecutive seasons, and this year he’s trying to do it for the ninth year in a row.
Manager Kim Jong-kook recalled that Yang’s thorough training routine was influenced by former pitching coach Toshio Kanbe, who was with the KIA from 2008 to 2009. “When he was younger, Coach Lee Kang-cheol and Coach Kanbe pushed him to train a lot,” Jong-guk said before the game.
In particular, the former coach taught Yang the importance of shadow pitching. Yang is now known as a pitcher who thoroughly shadow pitches on days when he is not pitching to check his pitching balance and physical condition. The sight of him running in the outfield with a towel to check his pitching form is a routine that KIA fans know well.
“Coach Kanbe made him shadow pitch almost every day,” said Kim Jong-kook. The current Hyun Jong-i was created by doing a lot of basic training at that time. When you can’t get it right, you have to train a lot to make it right. Hyunjong endured and followed along. Coach Kanbe was in charge of his balance training, and that’s how he became Yang Hyun-jong.”
Kim also pointed out that the current young pitchers of the KIA should take a lot of basic training. “It’s important for the players to learn through training. That’s how it is with sports. Hyun-jong also trained a lot from a young age, and he came out like that without realizing it.”
162 wins don’t just happen. It took sweat, hard work, and even tears. The same goes for the journey to 210 wins. Yang Hyun-jong will always be in his position, silently preparing to take the mound again.