Again, “Call Up” preparation begins… Kang Baek-ho stretches for the last time
Kang Baek-ho joined KT’s fostering group on the 22nd. Although he was in Iksan, Kang Baek-ho spent time in need of physical and mental recovery, not belonging to the second division of the Futures League or the training group preparing for the actual game.
Kang Baek-ho, who played less than half of the season due to injury last year, is having a much tougher season this year. The reason why Kang Baek-ho cannot play in the first division now is not simply because of his sluggishness. It is a season in which the mind is harder than the body, so he eventually cannot play.
Kang Baek-ho made a splendid debut, but he is having a very difficult career. Kang Baek-ho, who made his debut as a high school specialist, showed his genius batting talent and overwhelmingly won the Rookie of the Year award from his first year, becoming a star in the KBO League. He is receiving attention in one body, but his personality is clear and stands out, so when there is a lot of misunderstanding and controversy, it always expands more than necessary. Following the “gum scandal” at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, he suffered a “ceremony scandal” at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March this year, and after the opening, he was criticized again for making a fatal throwing mistake during the game. All of them led to controversy over their attitudes.
Amid repeated controversy and criticism, the player developed trauma and eventually reached the point where it affected his performance. Kang Baek-ho began to drop sharply after the ‘Songgu scandal’ in May. Kang Baek-ho, who couldn’t play in defense and played only as a designated hitter, was eventually excluded from the entry once in early June and returned to the second division in early July, but only lasted 15 days. At the time of his return in July, he appeared without losing any weight, revealing his mental struggles.
Kang Baek-ho, who endured the public eye right after the WBC in April and hit well with a batting average of 0.280 four home runs and 13 RBIs, has remained with 0.229 one home run and 13 RBIs in 23 games since the controversy over his throw in May. The match against LG on July 26 is the last performance in the first division.
Kang Baek-ho, who has been recovering his mind and body for about a month, is now starting again. KT manager Lee Kang-chul said, “As long as you are ready, you will be able to register as a first-tier player.” (That time) is up to you,” he said.
Kang Baek-ho is also included in the final entry for the Hangzhou Asian Games. Kang Baek-ho’s condition this season is the worst since his debut, but the national team, which suffered a fatal loss due to Lee Jung-hoo’s departure, expects Kang Baek-ho’s decisive power and is steadily checking his condition through the club.
Only when Kang Baek-ho shows that his body and mind have recovered within at least a month can he play smoothly in the Asian Games and create his own opportunity to recover his honor. It is also a very important time in Kang Baek-ho’s baseball life, who has been facing different trials for two consecutive years after walking on flower paths for four years since his debut.