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Retirement is not in my head” 41-year-old Oh Seung-hwan, Japan pays attention

 It’s already been 8 years since I left Japan, but ‘The King of the End’ is still not forgotten. Oh Seung-hwan (41, Samsung), who played an active role as a closer for the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese professional baseball team, received attention from the Japanese media. 

Japanese media such as ‘Sports Nippon’ 스포츠토토 and ‘Daily Sports’ reported an interview with Oh Seung-hwan on the 4th. Japanese reporters visited Oh Seung-hwan in Onna, Okinawa, Japan, where the Samsung Lions’ spring camp was set up. ‘Sports Nippon’ announced to Japanese baseball fans the current situation of Oh Seung-hwan, who is still active as a closer, saying, ‘Oh Seung-hwan, who has been the salvation king for two consecutive years as a member of Hanshin since 2014, is now 40 years old, but he is in charge of the guardian this season as well.’ 

Oh Seung-hwan said, “There are only eight 500 saves left in Korea, the U.S. and Japan, but there are 30 to 400 saves in Korea. First of all, I will work hard for that goal,” he said. “He cares about records and does not practice or play. Rather, if you do your best practice and play matches, the record will follow.” 

Born in 1982, he became the oldest active pitcher in the KBO League, but Oh Seung-hwan, who is in charge of finishing this year, said, “I don’t care about being old. Any player asks veterans about their age before their skills. i want to change that I can’t help it if my physical condition or skills aren’t good, but I want to prepare properly before the age question comes. I haven’t played the game yet, but I’m in better condition than last year, so I’m preparing well.” 

As Lee Dae-ho, the same age player who played for Japan’s Orix Buffaloes and Softbank Hawks for four years from 2012 to 2015, retired at the end of last year, Japanese reporters’ interest in Oh Seung-hwan was also great. Regarding this, he said, “If I’m not feeling well, I’ll think about retirement, but I haven’t fallen at all. He is not thinking of retiring. He is only looking forward to this season, and retirement is not in his head,” he said, making it clear that he will extend his active service. 

The pitching style continued to change little by little as the years passed. Oh Seung-hwan said, “It has changed a little. He has to change to fit his age. There is a difference between the time of Hanshin and now. About 2 pitches increased. Divide the two-seam and slider into two and throw with a difference in velocity. Since last year, the curve ratio has also increased.” The most important thing is direct purchase,” he emphasized. 

When Oh Seung-hwan was playing for Hanshin, most of the players became coaches. Oh Seung-hwan also expressed his thoughts about his leader after his retirement. He said, “If there is a chance, I think he could go to Japan to study. If there is an opportunity to tell me something like my secret, I really want to try it,” he said. It is the most difficult thing to keep the basics even after going pro, but Japanese players do it for sure. Japan’s star players also keep the basics well. Seeing that gave me strength,” he said. 

Oh Seung-hwan, who was previously selected for the Korean baseball team of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) four times, gave up his place to younger players this year. Regarding this, Oh Seung-hwan said, “The national team is a team that is selected based only on skills. It can’t be helped that I wasn’t chosen. I hope that Korean players will perform well in big tournaments and that Korean professional baseball fans will grow. I will support you so that you do not get hurt and come back with good results.” 

Regarding the player he can recommend in Korea, Oh Seung-hwan said, “Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom). I know it’s getting attention in Japan as well. Isn’t it a player everyone knows?” “There are too many good players in Japan. The player base is great. (Hitter with 56 home runs) Murakami Munetaka (Yakult) is also great, and there are many good pitchers. I saw Japan at the Olympics (Tokyo 2021), but there are many really good pitchers.” Regarding his desire to face off against Murakami, he replied, “I haven’t really thought about it because the age difference is so great.” Murakami was born in 2000 and is 23 years old, 18 years younger than Oh Seung-hwan. 

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