(Redirected from Myung-won Park)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 203 lb.
Myung-hwan Park has pitched for over a decade in the Korea Baseball Organization, entering his share of controversy admist some success on the mound. He led the league in ERA in 2004.
Park debuted with the 1996 OB Bears, going 7-12 with a 3.84 ERA. In 1997, the 20-year-old was 8-12 with a 3.96 ERA. The young right-hander had a 14-11, 3.22 record in 1998. He was 10th in the KBO in ERA and his 181 strikeouts were two shy of leader Dae-jin Lee.
When the club became the Doosan Bears in 1999, Park was 1-1 with one save and a 4.96 ERA in just 7 games. In 2000, he was 1-0 with a 3.09 ERA in only six appearances.
Back in regular action in 2001, the hurler was 8-5 with 7 saves and a 4.29 ERA in 38 games. In 2002, he had a 14-10, 3.44 record. He was 8th in the league in ERA. His 169 strikeouts were four behind leader Jin-woo Kim. In the 2002 Asian Games, he started and dominated against Taiwan in the round-robin phase (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 8 K, 1 BB). He then got the nod against Taiwan in the Gold Medal Game, but struggled (3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 K, BB) and Seung-ho Lee took over. South Korea would rally to win the Gold. Park led the team in whiffs. The next season, the Bears hurler went 5-10 with a 5.19 ERA in an off-year.
Park dazzled in 2004, taking two-thirds of the pitching Triple Crown. He led the KBO with a 2.50 ERA and 162 strikeouts (in 158 2/3 IP) while allowing only 130 hits. He posted a strong 12-3 record. He edged Gary Rath by .10 in a close ERA race.
In 112 2/3 IP in 2005, Park fanned 113 and allowed 81 hits and just four home runs. He went 11-3 with a 2.96 ERA. Had he qualified, he would have ranked second to Min-han Sohn in ERA. He drew international attention in June when cabbage leaves twice fell out of his cap. He said that he used frozen cabbage under his hat to keep him cool during games and stated that he had heard the practice had been done by Babe Ruth. The KBO ruled frozen cabbage a foreign substance and banned its use in the future.
In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Park pitched two scoreless innings, walking two, hitting one and fanning three, in the first round. On March 17, though, he was suspended from international play for two years, having tested positive for a banned substance (presumably more serious than cabbage).
In the 2006 KBO season, he was 7-7 with one save and a 3.46 ERA.