Kim Kwang Hyun won the 9th Choi Dong Won Award.Domestic Player Award for the First Time in Korea
The winner of the 9th Busan Bank Choi Dong-won Award, which selects Korea’s best professional baseball pitcher, has been decided. This is SSG Landers pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun.
The Choi Dong-won Memorial Project, which organizes the BNK Busan Bank Choi Dong-won Award, said on the 11th, “We selected SSG pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun as the winner of the 9th Busan Bank Choi Dong-won Award.” “The selection committee members voted the most for Kim Kwang-hyun, who recorded the top performance in all pitching indicators and showed the best dignity as a professional baseball player inside and outside the ground,” he said.
According to the commemorative business association, several players, including Kim Kwang-hyun, Casey Callie, Adam Platco, Ko Woo-seok, and Eric Yokishi, passed most of the criteria for Choi Dong-won. Kiwoom Heroes pitcher Ahn Woo-jin was also a strong candidate for the award if his personal performance is considered this season.
However, the commemorative association excluded Ahn Woo-jin as a candidate who did not meet the spirit of Choi Dong-won, who tried to ban violence from the sports world and eliminate discrimination between athletes.
The selection committee members of the commemorative project selected the winners based on seven criteria. ▲ 25 starts or more ▲ 180 innings or more ▲ 12 wins or more ▲ 150 strikeouts or more ▲ 15 quality starts or more ▲ 3.00 ERA or less ▲ 35 saves or more.
Kim Kwang-hyun was the main character of the 9th “Busan Bank Choi Dong-won Award,” which was selected after fierce discussion and voting by the selection committee members.
Kim Kwang-hyun pitched 173.1 innings in 28 games this season, recording 13 wins and 3 losses, 2.13 ERA, 153 strikeouts, and 19 QS. It was an outstanding performance, ranking second in the league’s ERA, fourth in multiple wins, and ninth in the most innings and strikeouts. In particular, Kim Kwang-hyun showed stable pitching as an ace by collecting QS in 19 of his 28 appearances.
Park Young-gil, chairman of the selection committee, said, “When I saw Kim Kwang-hyun’s performance, who pitched top-class even after returning to the Korean stage after two successful seasons at the St. Louis Cardinals in the Major League (MLB), I thought he was a different pitcher.”
Kim Kwang-hyun’s award is meaningful in three ways. First of all, it is the award that was achieved after the fifth challenge. From the first award ceremony in 2014 to the third award ceremony in 2016, Kim Kwang-hyun was nominated for three consecutive years. He was also nominated for the 6th awards ceremony in 2019. However, he never won a prize because he was pushed by other players.
The second is that it is the first Korean player award in five years. Last year, Doosan Bears foreign pitcher Miranda became the winner of the “8th BNK Busan Bank Choi Dong-won Award,” and foreign pitchers enjoyed the joy of winning the award for four consecutive years from the 5th to the 8th. Josh Lindblom, who played for Doosan, won five or six consecutive awards, followed by Alcantara being selected as the seventh winner and Miranda as the eighth winner.
The third is that a team pitcher other than Doosan has also become the winner in five years. From the 5th to 8th innings, the winners’ teams were all Doosan.
Kim Kwang-hyun, who received the news of winning the “Busan Bank Choi Dong-won Award,” said, “It is a great honor for me to win the Choi Dong-won Award.” Above all, the “Choi Dong-won Award” is more meaningful than any other award because it is named after a great pitcher who marked a milestone in Korean professional baseball, he said. “That’s why it’s a more honorable award for me.”
“I grew up watching the passionate efforts and fighting pitches of the late Choi Dong-won. I think the driving force behind taking the mound in Game 6 following Game 5 in this year’s Korean Series is because I grew up watching Choi Dong-won’s pitching, he said. “I will continue to show my best in both the team and the league like Choi Dong-won.”
The awards ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. on Nov. 17 at MBC Dream Hall in Busan. The prize money for the “Busan Bank Choi Dong-won Award” sponsored by BNK Busan Bank is 20 million won.