As many as 6 out of 10 active KBO heads, why are there so many

The SSG Landers appointed Kim Jae-hyun (48) as its new general manager on the 15th. Kim Jae-hyun, who was called the “Cannon Heater” and played as a slugger representing the KBO League from 1994 to 2010, returned to his former team LG in 19 years as a broadcasting commentator, Hanwha batting coach, and national batting coach after retirement. Shortly after he helped his team win the championship, he was selected as the SSG general manager and became the frontrunner.

Kim Jae-hyun is also related to SSG. SSG is a familiar team to Kim Jae-hyun, who led the team to win the Korean Series three times, including playing for six years from 2005 to 2010 at the former SK Wyverns. However, he has strong characteristics of the Twins who have worked for 11 years, as he led the team to the championship by achieving 20 home runs and 20 steals for the first time as a high school graduate in 1994.

As a result, six out of 10 KBO League team leaders are LG players, accounting for more than half of them. Kim Jae-hyun, general manager of LG Cha Myung-seok (54), Hanwha general manager Son Hyuk (50), KIA general manager Shim Jae-hak (51), and Samsung general manager Lee Jong-yeol (50) were LG players in the 1990s. KT general manager Na Do-hyun (53) also joined the professional baseball league as the front desk of the LG team.

Cha Myung-seok served as a relief pitcher for LG for 10 years from 1991 to 2001. After retirement, he served as a commentator for broadcasting and began his career as a coach for LG pitching in 2004. He has been with LG since then, except for two stints as commentators and time spent as general coach for KT Yook Sung-gun in 2016.

After being appointed as the general manager of LG in October 2018, he was in charge of managing the club for five years, and this year he solved his long-term resentment by winning an integrated championship for the first time in 29 years. He strengthened Debs by establishing a firm Futures development system, and laid the foundation for a sustainable strong team with timely investment.

Sohn Hyuk, head of Hanwha, served as an LG pitcher for four years from 1996 to 1999. He was the starting pitcher with double-digit wins for two consecutive years from 1998 to 1999. After serving as Kia and Doosan Bears, he retired in 2004, served as an instructor and commentator for Hanwha pitchers, and began his career as a pitching coach for Nexen (currently Kiwoom) in 2015.

After serving as the pitching coach for SK Wyverns in 2018-2019, he also served as the manager of Kiwoom Heroes in 2020. He joined Hanwha Eagles as the team’s strengthening coordinator in 2022, and finished his first season as the team’s general manager. He has been actively engaged in activities by recruiting four FA players for two years.

Shim Jae-hak, Kia`s general manager, joined the team in 1995 as the first LG Twins designation, and played for five years until 1999. He played as a mid- to long-distance hitter, but turned into a pitcher in 1999 in recognition of his strong shoulder. After giving up pitching for the first time in a year, Shim retired after playing for Doosan and KIA teams in 2008.

He served as the Heroes’ Coach for 10 years from 2009. After serving as a commentator and KBO technical committee member for five years from 2019, he went to the position of the KIA general manager, which was vacant in May. He brought catcher Kim Tae-gun in trade and signed an extension contract to stabilize his power.

Lee Jong-yeol, the head of Samsung, was a one-club man who spent 19 years with LG from 1991 to 2009. When he was an active player, he covered all infield positions with a switch heater. After retirement, he studied at a college baseball in the U.S. and held the microphone as a broadcast commentator for nine years from 2015.

During this period, he served as national team’s defensive coach and power analysis team leader and engaged in various activities. In October, he became the first player-turned-chief of a Samsung team. After recruiting Kim Jae-yoon from the FA bullpen, he has been busily traveling to Japan, Australia, and the U.S. to sell his footwork.

Na Do-hyeon, head of KT, is not an athlete. He is one of the three non-players along with NC Dinos’ Lim Sun-nam and Lotte’s Park Joon-hyuk, but has long experience in the baseball team. He joined the LG Baseball Organization in 1999 and worked as a manager for management teams and foreign scouts. He was the first non-players in Korea to complete scouting training in the Major League in 2007, and served as the head of LG’s management team from 2010 to 2012. Afterwards, he moved to KT, a new team that was founded in 2013, and served as the head of the management team and the data planning team. He became the head of KT in February last year, and supported his team to advance to the postseason for two consecutive years.

Except for Na Do-hyeon, the other five former LG players either have little or no time to work for LG except for Cha Myung-seok. Besides former LG players, they also had long careers as commentators. All of them were recognized by broadcasters and baseball fans for their skills. To be good at commentating, one should support beautiful speech, talk, and speech skills. LG, which flourished in the 1990s with its exciting baseball league, was a sophisticated team that led the KBO League, and its players based in Seoul were exposed to media more than any other team.

However, to be recognized as a baseball commentator, one should not just be good at speaking. One needs to have a thorough theory and constantly study and communicate to keep up with baseball trends that change every year. Officials say that as a commentator who must remain neutral, his objective views, views and depth he felt while watching all 10 teams have some advantages over other candidates during interviews with the general manager. Some say that his experience gained through various outside activities such as coaching the national team, technical committee members, and publishing baseball books can also help him build a living in the entire team as a general manager.


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