Park Chan-ho, the ‘Korean Express’, is nicknamed ‘Han Man-du’ after being hit with two grand slams by one player in one inning. In one match, he got into a fight with an opponent and threw a double side kick, showing the dignity of Taekwondo to the United States. Having 124 victories, the most by an Asian, is a great achievement, but fans remember this anecdote of Park Chan-ho as his legend.
A reporter who was a baseball fan… Double Empathy
‘Major League, Record of Sincerity’안전놀이터 is a book written by an author who became a baseball reporter for a broadcasting company because he liked baseball and wrote the story behind the major leagues. It contains not only Korean players who left a significant mark in the major leagues, such as Park Chan-ho, Ryu Hyun-jin, Choo Shin-soo, and Kim Byung-hyun, but also past legends such as Greg Maddox and Ichiro Suzuki, and current legends such as Shohei Ohtani. In 2003, even before the start of baseball coverage, the memos collected were brought together and vividly presented. ● It is not easy to resist the strong temptation of statistics when covering baseball, the ‘sport of record’, with
anecdotes of players such as Park Chan-ho and Ohtani .
This is because in an era when saber matrices have developed and everything about athletes can be expressed in numbers, analyzing the causal relationship of grades with numbers and drawing plausible conclusions gives off a feeling of being an expert.
But when you get buried in numbers, you forget what’s really important. Baseball is also a human thing, and the players are also human beings. Fans are also experts when it comes to statistics, so in this era, fans may need more stories behind the players that only reporters can tell. The author also said, “You don’t have to use a new and great formula to see baseball in depth,” and said, “I hope you accept what you like as you feel.”
The book contains not only the stories of the players, but also content that attracts the attention of baseball fans, such as the Houston Astrodome, the first dome stadium, and the Dream Stadium project. It’s fun to watch because it’s a record left by someone who dreamed of a baseball-related job early as a baseball fan. The author said, “Only the material is baseball, but it is the story of people in the end.”