“The fans who get my autograph say, ‘Thank you so much for being with me for 19 years’ and ‘Thank you for being with me for such a long time,’ and I cried without realizing it.”
The retirement ceremony of Park Yong-taek (43) KBS N commentator who retired from LG after the 2020 season was held in Jamsil on the 3rd. He said, “I want to hold a retirement ceremony in a place where a lot of spectators applaud and cheer.”
Park Yong-taek was named in the starting lineup as a left fielder with the 3rd batter on that day. Before the game started, after receiving a bouquet of flowers from the guests, he threw the first pitch, went to the defensive position of left fielder and was replaced by Kim Hyun-soo (34) immediately after the game started. Park Yong-taek hugged the players on the ground and headed to the dugout. The audience sang Park Yong-taek’s cheering song, which was used from 2009 to 2016. The original song copyright owner Bang Si-hyuk, Hive Chairman Bang Si-hyuk, composer Pidok, and singer Park Jung-ah gave permission to use this song free of charge to commemorate Park Yong-taek’s retirement ceremony.
Park Yong-taek, who met with reporters before his retirement ceremony, said, “I didn’t think there would be any excitement, but I couldn’t sleep until 5 in the morning yesterday.” He said, “I’ve signed about 500 autographs for fans since 12:30 today,” he said.
Park Yong-taek’s jersey number 33 became LG’s permanent number. After Kim Yong-soo and Lee Byung-gyu, this is the club’s third permanent retirement. Park Yong-taek said, “I had a dream of permanent retirement after seeing Kim Yong-soo, and seeing Lee Byung-gyu, that dream became my goal.
On this day, the LG players wore uniforms with Park Yong-taek’s nickname on them. Park Yong-taek selected his nickname list, and the players directly selected the nickname they would wear. Among them, Park Yong-taek chose the nickname Kim Hyeon-soo wore as his favorite nickname. Park Yong-taek was nicknamed ‘Cold Water’ for pouring cold water on a scoring opportunity, but it was a nickname that came out in the opposite way when he showed a feeling of hot hitting.
Park Yong-taek, who made his professional debut at LG in 2002, is a one-club man who played for LG all the way until his retirement. In 19 seasons, he played 2236 games, batting .308, 2504 hits, 213 home runs, 1192 RBIs, 1259 runs and 313 stolen bases. He holds the league record for most hits, most appearances (2236 games), most at-bats (9138 at-bats), and most at-bats (8139 at-bats).
LG coach Ryu Ji-hyeon said of Park Yong-taek, “He was a player who was not afraid to change himself in order to achieve better results.”