Kwak Bin, who is shining in the first nomination of Doosan in 2018, joined the Hangzhou Asian Games national team this season amid 11 wins, 7 losses and a 2.97 ERA in 22 games. Before the competition, Kwak Bin’s will was determined. He grabbed seniors who had experienced the Asian Games, such as Yang Eui-ji and Kim Jae-hwan, and asked for advice every day, and approached Brandon Waddell, an experienced Taiwanese league player, to ask about the characteristics of Taiwanese batters. Kwak Bin even delivered his determination to reporters, saying, “I will devote my soul to the Asian Games gold medal.” 안전놀이터
Kwak Bin was classified as a key player to lead the national team’s starting lineup along with Moon Dong-ju and Park Se-woong at the Gocheok Dome call-up training in late September. He captivated manager Ryu Joong-il by showing tremendous ball power from the bullpen pitching, and was selected as a leading candidate for the group qualifying match against Taiwan, which will be a watershed moment for the gold medal.
Kwak Bin, who left for Hangzhou on Sept. 28, suffered an unexpected injury on the first day of October. While preparing for the first group qualifying match against Hong Kong, he developed symptoms of gall in the right wing bone. It happened an hour and a half before the start of the game. To make matters worse, the next day, he reportedly received three IV and muscle laxative injections as his body aches increased.
Ryu Joong-il passed the preliminary round and advanced to the super round. Kwak Bin wanted to somehow take the mound and help the national team. Prior to the Super Round against Japan on the 6th, he even received acupuncture treatment to relax his muscles.
Kwak Bin finally shook off his injury and waited for the bullpen from the match against China in the Super Round on the 7th. Although he suffered pain in the wing bone again, he took three painkillers, and from the second inning of the final against Taiwan on the 7th, he relaxed his arms in the bullpen and waited for a signal to play.
However, Kwak Bin was not called by manager Ryu Joong-il as the final match unfolded in a tight pitching match. No matter how good the pitch was, he could not put a pitcher who never pitched during the tournament in a close game. As such, Kwak Bin won a gold medal without taking the mound and received exemption from military service.
After the gold medal ceremony, Kwak Bin left a message on his SNS saying, “I’m so sorry and thank you,” expressing his sorry and grateful feelings toward his team members. In response, younger members of the national team, including Park Young-hyun and Choi Ji-min, said, “I love you. “I had a hard time, but good job,” he said, while Yang Hyun-jong and Park Gun-woo, the KBO League’s seniors, also applauded in comments.
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop regretted Kwak Bin’s injury, but applauded the achievement of the gold medal. Director Lee said, “Kwakbin suddenly got a wall. We also checked every day, but it’s a shame that we couldn’t throw it because of the dam,” he said. “Still, the Korean national team won the gold medal. If the team goes well, everything is forgotten even if the players are sluggish. I think I prepared hard and cheered in the dugout. Everyone is a team,” he said.
If so, will Kwak Bin be able to appear in the remaining regular season games. Coach Lee said, “I’ll talk to the player himself and schedule the game,” adding, “I think he will take the mound at least once next week, but his intention is important.” Also, as a team, one game must be thrown. He did not play in the Asian Games, but both China and Taiwan stood by in the bullpen. “I personally believe that I will be able to throw in the game,” he explained.