Battery Yang-ji and Won-jun Jang, who started the Doosan Bears’ dynasty, can no longer see each other. The “KBO’s left-handed legend” has retired from active duty. Yang also hasn’t forgotten the moment when he started and ended his career with Doosan.
On October 28, Doosan officially announced Jang’s retirement from active duty. Jang recently decided to retire from active duty after discussions with the club.
A native of Busan High School, Jang Won-jun was selected by the Lotte Giants with the first overall pick in the 2004 rookie draft. Jang joined the Doosan Bears as a free agent prior to the 2015 season under Kim Tae-hyung.
In his rookie year, Jang went 12-12 with a 4.08 ERA in 30 games, making him the first “V4” pitcher in 14 years. The following year, in 2016, Jang went 15-6 with a 3.32 ERA in 27 games as part of the Fantastic Four, leading the team to the title.
In nine years in a Doosan Bears uniform, Jang compiled a 47-42 record, one save and 12 holds with a 4.49 ERA in 188 games. In his professional career, Jang is 132-119 with a 4.28 ERA in 446 games, with one save and 14 shutouts. This year, he became the 11th player in KBO history and the oldest left-hander in history to win 130 games (37 years, 9 months, 22 days) and the ninth player in history to reach 2,000 innings, impressing fans with his “romantic baseball” style.
Through the organization, Jang said, “The choice to leave Jungden Ground was never easy. “I am grateful to owner Park Jung-won for allowing me to start my second baseball life as a free agent and giving me more opportunities when I was struggling with injuries,” said Jang.
He continued, “I’m glad that I was able to fulfill the last goals I set for myself. However, when I think of my juniors, my steps don’t slow down,” he said. “There are many talented juniors in our team, so I will support them to train diligently and lead the team to leap forward.”
“I remember the faces of coach Lee Seung-yup, the coaching staff, and my teammates. It was all thanks to ‘Team Bears’ that I was able to leave with applause at the end.” “I will never forget the cheers of the fans who gave me tremendous strength that I lacked. I am so grateful.”스포츠토토
Catcher Yang, who won the 2015 and 2016 Korean Series titles with Jang Won-jun before returning to Doosan in 2023 to help the team win 130 games, was also emotional about his teammate’s retirement.
Yang, who participated in Park Chan-ho’s youth baseball camp ‘Camp 61’ in Goyang on October 28 as a one-day coach, said, “I want to tell (Jang) Won-jun that it was bittersweet and difficult to hear the news of his brother’s retirement. When it finally became a reality, many memorable moments with my brother flashed through my mind. I want to support and applaud him in his second baseball life.”
When asked about his most memorable moment with Jang Won-jun, Yang Ji said, “The first thing that comes to mind is Won-jun’s comeback in Game 3 of the Korean Series, when he gave us our first win together in the first year he was here. It was a big moment for him to come and win the championship that he had been waiting for. I think we were meant to be together because he stayed with me until the last 130 games after the first win (laughs). I really did everything I could,” he smiled.