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On the night of the 13th, when LG's Korean Series victory was decided. When videos of LG's past wins in 1990 and 1994 were played on the electronic display board at Jamsil Stadium, there was someone who was filled with special emotions. Kim Yong-il, LG's chief training coach, is a living witness who has been at the historical scene three times over a 29-year gap.
Across LG's squad and front office, there are only a few members who won the championship in 1994. Along with Coach Kim, there is head coach Kim Jeong-jun, who was the scorer in 1994, and at the front office, general manager Cha Myeong-seok and futures general coordinator Kim Jae-hyeon, Lim Seung-gyu, who is working at Icheon Champions Park, the dugout scorer at the time, and scout Jeong Seong-ju, who just made a new start as a scorer after retiring as a player. There are only 6 people so far.
Coach Kim joined MBC Blue Dragon in 1989 and devoted his youth to the Twins, spending most of his time in Jamsil from 1990, when the company changed its name to LG. The players participating in this Korean Series, half of whom were not even born, must have had mixed feelings that were unknown to them. Coach Kim said, “I am deeply moved by the fact that we are all at the site of our three wins.”
Coach Kim's training policy, known as a 'poisonous snake' among players in the past, changed drastically starting from his trip to the United States in line with the trend of the times. While working at the LA Dodgers as Ryu Hyun-jin's dedicated trainer in 2019, he absorbed scientific systems and programs focused on injury prevention, and returned to LG to spread them. He sometimes gave advice to his coach and looked to the future rather than the one win right in front of him, and ultimately shined in the long-term race.
Coach Kim is busier in the winter. As the top training authority, there are many places to look for him in amateur and youth baseball. He is being called up again this year without even having time to enjoy the afterglow of winning. First of all, he is working as a mentor for the 'Youth Travel Injury Prevention Education' conducted for the first time this year by the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), and he traveled to 50 middle and high schools across the country that do not have trainers and generously donated his talent. A KBO official said, “Programs like tubing are not at a level that can be taught to amateurs, and coach Kim Yong-il personally prepared a video of Go Woo-seok and Lee Jeong-yong and showed it to the young players, receiving a great response.” On December 2nd, we will attend a KBO Medical Committee seminar for parents and amateur coaches to help prevent player injuries.
In addition to his official activities, Coach Kim practices sharing by visiting hidden corners during the off-season to help underprivileged professional and amateur players. Coach Kim said, “Having worked in the baseball world for a long time, I want to pass on even the little knowledge I have. So, if youth players become healthier, wouldn’t that be the foundation for professional baseball?” he said, explaining why he gave up his ‘victory vacation’ and returned to play.
Thursday, November 30, 2023
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