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Chan Ho Park, first Korean participant in MLB, will throw the primary pitch within the Seoul Collection

A retired Korean baseball legend is returning to the mound for the first game of the Major League Baseball regular season — and the first ever held in South Korea.  Former pitcher Chan Ho Park, the first Korean-born athlete to play in MLB, is scheduled to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the season opener

Chan Ho Park, first Korean participant in MLB, will throw the primary pitch within the Seoul Collection

A retired Korean baseball legend is returning to the mound for the primary sport of the Main League Baseball common season — and the primary ever held in South Korea. 

Former pitcher Chan Ho Park, the primary Korean-born athlete to play in MLB, is scheduled to throw the ceremonial first pitch on the season opener in Seoul on Wednesday between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. Park made his debut with the Dodgers in 1994 and performed with the Padres from 2005 to 2006.

“I believe that it’s kind of a fruits for him,” Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts, a former teammate of Park’s, informed The Athletic about Park’s first pitch. “He was a pioneer as a Korean-born participant to return to the States and to be a star participant.”

Park will kick off a two-game “Seoul Collection” between the groups on the Gocheok SkyDome, marking not solely the primary video games of the common season but additionally the primary common season video games ever performed in Korea. 

Chan Ho Park waves to the crowd
Chan Ho Park waves to the gang at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in 2021.Brian Rothmuller / Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures file

Park’s debut as a reliever in opposition to the Atlanta Braves solid a brand new path for different Korean baseball stars, together with former MLB gamers Byung-Hyun Kim and Hyun Jin Ryu and present Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim. Throughout his 17 years within the league, Park, often known as “The Korean Express,” additionally frolicked with the New York Mets, the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

His profession within the U.S. concluded with the Pirates on Oct. 1, 2010, with a win in opposition to the Florida Marlins that helped him clinch the MLB report for many wins by an Asian pitcher. 

“I turned a messenger to the folks for lots of constructive,” Park informed The Athletic, reflecting on the strain he skilled representing Korea. “They usually had been cheering me up, however I needed to pitch properly to cheer them up, the entire nation.”

Right this moment, Park, who retired from enjoying baseball in 2012 with the Hanwha Eagles in South Korea, continues to be concerned within the sport as a baseball operations adviser with the Padres.

Whereas Park’s look is extremely anticipated, Korean followers have additionally been awaiting the return of Kim, a former favourite within the nation’s Korean Baseball Group League, who in November turned the primary Asian-born infielder to win MLB’s Gold Glove Award. Two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani may also make his debut with the Dodgers throughout the collection after he clinched the most important contract in North American sports activities historical past and signed for $700 million over 10 years.

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Kimmy Yam

Kimmy Yam is a reporter for NBC Asian America.

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