“I was surprised by the refusal to pitch.”
Coach Manabu Fujita (58), who coached Koo Dae-seong as a pitching coach at the Orix Blue Wave (now the Orix Buffaloes) from 2002 to 2003, said in an interview with Japanese baseball media ‘Full Count’ on the 23rd that he remembered the memories of Koo Dae-seong (54). remembered
Koo Dae-seong is a KBO league legend pitcher who recorded 67 wins, 71 losses, 18 holds, 214 saves, and 1,221 strikeouts in 569 games and 1128⅔ innings. After being nominated for the first time by the Hanwha Eagles (former Binggrae Eagles) in 1993, he is a franchise star who only played for Hanwha except for the period of overseas expansion.
Ahead of the 2001 season, Koo Dae-seong joined Orix and started his overseas career in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). Koo Dae-seong, who went back and forth between starting pitcher and bullpen in his first year of Japanese baseball, stood out as a full-time starting pitcher in his second year.
In 22 games, he recorded 5 wins and 7 losses with an ERA of 2.52 in 146⅓ innings. The team stayed at the bottom of the Pacific League with 50 matches, 3 draws and 87 losses, but Koo Dae-seong led the team’s starting lineup, ranking second overall in average ERA in the Pacific League.
Coach Fujita recalled that time and introduced an anecdote with Koo Dae-sung. At the time, Koo Dae-seong was competing for the title with teammate Masahiko Kaneda (54) for the No. 1 ERA. With the rankings confirmed, the team struggled with Koo Dae-sung and Kaneda’s chance to start at the end of the season.
At that time, Goo Dae-sung showed consideration. Coach Fujita said, “Ko Dae-sung told me, 안전놀이터 ‘I have the experience of winning a title in Korea. He requested that Kaneda win the ERA title.” Koo Dae-seong also had a chance to throw, so it was surprising that he did not pitch.”
In the end, Kaneda won the title with an ERA of 2.50, and Koo Dae-sung finished second with an ERA of 2.52. The media shed light on the time, saying, “The fight for the ERA title between two left-handed pitchers, Koo Dae-sung and Kaneda, who played on the same team in 2002, is an unforgettable memory for coach Fujita.”
Meanwhile, Koo Dae-sung made a surprise appearance as a player on the 19th and drew attention from domestic fans. As a Geelong Korea player in the Australian Professional Baseball League (ABL), he made a surprise appearance in the bottom of the 8th inning when he trailed 0-7 against the Adelaide Giants.
There has been no record of actual appearances since 2019, but with a unique pitching form, fast pitching tempo, and speed of up to 117 km per hour, he overpowered opponent batters and recorded one hit and no run in one inning.
Major League Baseball’s official SNS account posted a video of Koo Dae-sung’s pitching and said, “This is amazing. The 53-year-old Koo Dae-seong is still perfectly blocking hitters,” he praised.