Jang Won-jun, who boasted outstanding pitching ability and control, ends his 20-year professional career.
Jang Won-jun’s team, Doosan Bears, said on the 28th, “Jang Won-jun has announced his intention to retire from active duty to the club.”
Wonjun Jang started against the Incheon SSG Landers on the 17th, the last game of the regular season, and pitched 4⅓ innings (7 hits, 5 runs), becoming the 9th player in KBO League history to reach 2,000 personal innings. In the game that day, when Jang Won-jun came down the mound, Doosan juniors came out to the dugout and greeted Jang Won-jun. Jang Won-jun and his juniors had a feeling that today’s pitch would be their last appearance as an active player.
Left-handed pitcher Jang Won-jun, a graduate of Busan High School, began his professional career by being selected in the first round by the Lotte Giants in the 2004 rookie draft.
Jang Won-jun, who pitched 1,326 innings in 258 games for Lotte, signed a four-year contract with Doosan for 8.4 billion won in 2015 and added 674 innings (188 games) while wearing the Black Bear uniform. His career records are 446 games, 132 wins, 119 losses, 1 save and 14 holds, and an ERA of 4.28.
Jang Won-jun ended his career as a player ranked 10th in wins and innings pitched in the KBO League. For three seasons from 2015 to 2017, Jang Won-jun played an active part as Doosan’s native ace. During this period, Jang Won-jun appeared in 86 games and posted 41 wins, 27 losses, and an average ERA of 3.51. He ranks 5th in most wins and 3rd in earned run average. In the postseason, he was called a ‘big game feature’ with 4 wins and an ERA of 2.44.
Doosan won the Korean Series in 2015 and 2016 thanks to Jang Won-jun’s performance. Even when he finished second in the Korean Series in 2017, Jang Won-jun shined. However, Jang Won-jun has suffered from injuries and poor performance since 2018, and has spent longer in the second team than in the first team.
Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop reached out to Jang Won-jun, who is at the crossroads of retirement after the end of the 2022 season, saying, “We can’t let a player with this level of experience retire in vain,” and the Doosan club also accepted coach Lee Seung-yeop’s opinion.
Wonjun Jang pitched 41 innings this year and earned 3 wins. Jang Won-jun’s victory clock, which had been stopped at 129 wins for over four years since 2018, has turned again. Jang Won-jun, who had the opportunity to pitch in the last game of the regular season, also pitched a total of 2,000 innings.
Jang Won-jun said through the club, “It was never an easy choice to leave my beloved ground. However, I thought it was time to quit baseball, so I decided to retire.” He added, “Please let me start my second baseball life with a free agent contract, and give me an opportunity when I am having a hard time due to injury.” “I am grateful to owner Park Jeong-won for giving me more,” he said.
He added, “I feel relieved because I have achieved the last goals I personally set. However, when I think of my juniors, I rarely lose my pace. There are many talented juniors on our team, so I will support them to train diligently and lead the team to a leap forward.”
Jang Won-jun said, “The faces of Coach Seung-yeop Lee, the coaching staff, and my colleagues are faint. It’s all thanks to ‘Team Bears’ that I was able to leave with applause until the end. I will never forget the cheers of the fans, who gave me tremendous strength when I was lacking. Thank you so much. “I give it to you,” he said, bowing his head repeatedly.메이저놀이터
Jang Won-jun’s pitching, which showed off his presence by starting at Lotte and continuing his excellent pitching at Doosan, will be remembered by KBO League fans for a long time.