Former Coach Kim Won-hyung of Sovin Yeonsu

The meal was not unfamiliar. When I went to the spring camp in Japan, I could see no difference from the meal I always had at the training site. While moving for several days, what caught my eye was the scale. It was the number again.

Former SSG Landers coach Kim Won-hyung left for the Japanese professional baseball Softbank Hawks on the 3rd to train as a coach. Softbank announced Kim’s registration as a coach through the Japan Baseball Organization (NPB) on the 5th.

It was close to “brunch time” when it passed 11 a.m. on the 6th when I was connected by phone with former coach Kim Won-hyung, but I was in touch with lunch in the routine of Softbank’s promotion schedule. A fourth-tier game was waiting for the day.

“It’s about a 50-minute drive from Fukuoka (Softbank). I’m here because I heard there will be a fourth-tier team game today,” Kim said. “It’s almost like a countryside, but I feel again that the facilities for baseball are very well established.”

“I’ve only seen and heard it for a few days, but it’s on a different scale. I’m greeting the coaching staff of the second, third and fourth teams, and there are so many. I’m memorizing the names,” Kim said.

Softbank has a total of 37 coaching staff. According to former coach Kim, only 26 are in the 2nd and 4th tier teams. Considering that the average coaching staff for each KBO League club is about 20 in the 1st and 2nd tier teams, the gap is nearly double.

“There are so many people,” former coach Kim said, describing the numerical difference of 125 Softbank players. “I plan to watch and learn from this place for one season. I want to see many things one by one from the system.”

For Kim, this is the starting point for his next challenge. After spending his first year as the head coach of the SK Wyverns in 2021, Kim immediately won the title as the first head coach of the SSG to take over the baseball team the following year. He also announced the renewal of his contract during the Korean Series that year, but after finishing the regular season in third place in 2023, he left the baton with two years left to sign.

The reason Kim left the training was because of the help of Kim Sung-geun, former manager of the JTBC baseball documentary Monsters, who used to be a teacher when he was a player. Kim Sung-geun has spent the past five years as a managerial advisor at Softbank until 2022. “We created this opportunity thanks to Kim Sung-geun. I am grateful,” said Kim Won-hyung, former coach of the team. 안전놀이터 추천

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