Park Dong-won (33-LG Twins) had one of the best years of his professional career this year.
After becoming a free agent at the end of last season, Park left the KIA Tigers and signed a four-year, 6.5 billion won contract with the LG Twins.
Park has become a “championship hitter. In 130 games this season, he batted .244 with nine doubles and 20 home runs, helping LG finish first in the regular season. He was even better in the Korean Series. In five games, he went 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBIs in the championship. It was LG’s first title in 29 years, since 1994.
While the Korean Series MVP went to “captain” Oh Ji-hwan, Park Dong-won was LG coach Yoo Young-chan’s choice for the honor, along with Yoo. Before the series, Yeom promised to pick one player from among the other MVPs and give them 10 million won out of his own pocket. It looked like the two players would share 5 million won each, but Yi made the big decision to give them 10 million won each.
Park Dong-won won the catcher award at the 2023 Magoo Magoo Real Glove Awards held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul on January 1. The Real Glove Award is given to the best player in each position. Since the players themselves voted for the award, it was especially valuable.
Park Dong-won said, “I’m happy to receive the award because I didn’t expect it. I wasn’t prepared for the award. I’m sorry that I didn’t express my gratitude to the players properly.” “It feels good to receive the award. I think I need to work harder.”
He also received 10 million won from coach Yeom. Park Dong-won had already decided to use the 10 million won as a gift for his wife’s bag. He said, “It was very cool. When I went on a group trip to Japan, I gave my wife a gift. I didn’t know much about women’s bags, so I asked my young friends.”
Among the awards were Best Battery. The “Couple Award” was given to the catcher and pitcher who were considered the best performers of the season. KT Wiz and Ko Young-pyo and Jang Sung-woo received the award.
When we asked Park Dong-won to name the ‘Best Battery at LG,’ he said, “Of course, it’s (Im) Chanyu. I would like to receive it with all the players, but I also think of Chanyu, (Yoo) Young-chan, and Kelly. But Chanyeol had a hard time with his free agency, so I thought I would like to receive it with Chanyeol.”
Lim became a free agent at the end of last season, but did not exercise his rights. He was unimpressive, going 6-11 with a 5.04 ERA in 23 games. After a year of waiting, he decided to take a chance on free agency and turned into an ace, going 14-3 with a 3.42 ERA in 30 games this season.
After the season, Im Chan-gyu announced his free agency. LG and Im are currently in negotiations. “We can’t do without him,” Park Dong-won said affectionately.
At the same time, he added, “I hope he doesn’t think about running away. If he runs away, he will be punished by LG, our powerhouse. I think it would be better if he didn’t go,” and “I think our players will punish him. I think Chanyeol’s ERA will go up a lot,” he laughed.
‘Threats(?)’ Park Dong-won’s feelings for Lim were so strong that he left a message. “I was worried about him because he was a free agent again. I think it could have worked out well enough,” he said, adding, “I told him not to worry because I was the one who did it first.”
Park continued, “I told him that if he got a good contract, I would be the first to let him know. I haven’t heard from them yet. I’m waiting to hear from them because I want it to work out.”