Lim Chang-min (38, Kiwoom Heroes), who returned to his home team after 10 years, left a significant record in the history of the KBO League beyond individual.스포츠토토
In the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League regular season away match against SSG Landers held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 4th, Kiwoom took the mound at the bottom of the 9th inning, leading 4-3, and kept the team victory with no runs without strikeouts and walks in one inning. .
It was the 4th save of the season and the 100th save of his personal career. After graduating from Gwangju Daeseong Elementary School – Gwangju Dongseong Middle School – Gwangju Dongseong High School – Yonsei University, he was nominated by the Hyundai Unicorns with the 11th pick in the 2nd round of the 2008 Rookie Draft, and it has been 15 years since his first team debut in Heroes in 2009.
The process has never been easy. Lim Chang-min had a chance to make 100 saves earlier. On the 2nd, Kiwoom took the mound at the bottom of the 9th inning with a 2-1 lead, but the first ball hunting and SSG hitter’s concentrated hit overlapped and recorded a blown save. The save opportunity that came in two days was also difficult. With a difference of only 1 point, the SSG line started from number 1. Moreover, Kiwoom was psychologically chased after recording all 8 losses against SSG this season. Lim Chang-min received help from left fielder Kim Jun-wan when he caught the first batter, Choi Ji-hoon. However, from then on, he did not send the ball to the outfield and finished the game with a three-way offense by dealing with Choi Joo-hwan and Choi Jung-hwan.
For Kiwoom, it was more than just one win in the regular season. Last year, Kiwoom lost 2 wins and 2 losses to SSG on the Korean Series stage, and then lost 2 games in a row. In the aftermath of that, this year, even if they made a close match in head-to-head, the result was always SSG’s victory. Out of 8 consecutive losses, there were 5 defeats by 1 point. In terms of the regular season, it was 9 consecutive losses against SSG since September 30 last year.
If the game had also been lost that day, with 10 consecutive losses, Kiwoom would have almost reproduced the dark history of the club 15 years ago. The 9 consecutive losses against SSG (including its predecessor, SK) was second, with 10 consecutive losses from May 20, 2008 to September 27, 2008, the most. Coincidentally, Heroes were re-founded in the year that the dark history was created, and Lim Chang-min is currently the last remaining founding member of Heroes. A founding member who returned after 10 years prevented the reappearance of dark history.
Even in March of this year, it was difficult to imagine that such a dramatic scene would be produced. Lim Chang-min was released from the NC Dinos in 2021 and the Doosan Bears in 2022 for two consecutive years, and was invincible for a while. But his home team reached out and he gladly took it. It was an unfamiliar team to the extent that there were more coaches close to him, but his juniors approached him first without hesitation. Lim Chang-min, who we met ahead of the match against Hanwha in Daejeon on the 1st, told us how he is adapting to the changed team.
Lim Chang-min said, “Everyone makes me feel comfortable mentally. Even the juniors express their opinions and ask questions with the feeling of the MZ generation.” “Personally, I felt that there was a lot to learn from the team called Kiwoom. How to operate a team with data But in many ways, there are things that can create a sensation when shared with other teams. It has helped me a lot and it seems like a good team for (young players) to learn and grow.”
However, this year the team suffered just as it did 15 years ago when he first joined. After falling to the bottom, they repeated a series of victories and losses with ups and downs. However, Lim Chang-min was convinced of a rebound by looking at the team’s atmosphere.
Lim Chang-min said, “I’ve seen times when this team was in last place and there were times when the team was in a worse situation than now. A) When they fall behind, some people tend to walk outside the baseball field or do words and actions that lower team morale, but here we come together well. Also, ‘we are a team that can rise again’.
He continued, “I think that’s why it was successful. It’s mainly young players, but it’s this kind of atmosphere, so there’s a fresh side to it.” There are many things. Talking about those things seems to bring us together.”
Lim Chang-min, who quickly melted into the team, began to show off his prime skills. He started to come out as a closer in mid-May, and so far he has been cracking down on the back door with 1 win, 1 loss, 1 hold, 4 saves and an ERA of 1.69 in 17 games.
Lim Chang-min, who became the 20th KBO player to reach 100 saves, set a new record as the oldest 100-save player at the age of 37 years, 9 months and 10 days. The previous record was Song Jin-woo’s 37 years, 7 months and 9 days. His 100 saves resonate calmly in the KBO League as well. When everyone judged it difficult through two releases, he did not give up, and eventually climbed to the finish of a team once again and left a meaningful record.
We asked him what 100 saves meant to him, who was about to set a record. Lim Chang-min said, “Coming back this year (with Heroes), the first win, the first hold, and the first save are all new, so it’s meaningful. In fact, I took what I learned here and blossomed in other teams, and I can come back and repay the Heroes.” I think it’s fortunate,” he said, giving meaning to achieving a record in Heroes first. “Actually, there are people who have been steadily supporting me after a long bad period. If I had given up early, they wouldn’t have been worthwhile. To me, 100 saves will be a record to repay the support they sent me rather than personal glory. ” he smiled.
Three days later, everyone who supported Lim Chang-min received the best present.