Battery Yang Eui-ji and Jang Won-jun, who opened the Doosan Bears’ dynasty, can no longer face each other. This is why ‘KBO League left-hander legend’ Jang Won-jun took off his active uniform. Yang Eui-ji also couldn’t forget the moments he spent with Jang Won-jun at Doosan, from the beginning to the end.
Doosan officially announced the news of Jang Won-jun’s retirement on October 28. Wonjun Jang recently decided to retire from active duty after discussions with the club.
Jang Won-jun, a graduate of Busan High School, entered the professional ranks after being selected in the first round by the Lotte Giants in the 2004 rookie draft. Jang Won-jun wore the Doosan Bears uniform as a free agent contract prior to the 2015 season when coach Kim Tae-hyung took office.
Jang Won-jun recorded 12 wins, 12 losses, and an ERA of 4.08 in 30 games in the first year of his transfer, establishing himself as the number one contributor to ‘V4’ for the first time in 14 years. The following year, in 2016, Jang Won-Jun recorded 15 wins, 6 losses, and an ERA of 3.32 in 27 games, taking the lead in winning the championship as a member of the ‘Fantastic Four’.
Won-Jun Jang played an active part in 188 games for 9 years wearing the Doosan Bears uniform, with 47 wins, 42 losses, 1 save, 12 holds, and an ERA of 4.49. His professional career records include 446 appearances, 132 wins, 119 losses, 1 save, 14 holds, and an ERA of 4.28. This year, he became the 11th player in KBO League history and the oldest left-hander ever to achieve 130 wins (37 years, 9 months, 22 days), and became the 9th player in history to reach 2,000 innings, impressing fans with the Bears’ ‘romantic baseball’.
Jang Won-jun said through the club, “The choice to leave my beloved ground was never easy. However, he made this decision because he thought it was time to quit baseball,” he said. “I am grateful to owner Park Jeong-won, who allowed me to start my second baseball life with a free agent contract and gave me more opportunities when I was having a hard time due to injury.”
He continued, “I feel relieved because he has achieved the final goals he personally set. However, when I think about my juniors, I rarely slow down,” he added. “There are many talented juniors on our team, so I will support them to train diligently and lead the team to a leap forward.”
He also said, “The faces of Coach Seung-yeop Lee, the coaching staff, and my colleagues are palpable. “It was all thanks to ‘Team Bears’ that I was able to leave with applause until the end,” he said. “I will never forget the cheers of the fans, who gave me tremendous strength when I was lacking. “Thank you so much,” he added.
Catcher Yang Eui-ji, who won the Korean Series in 2015 and 2016 with Jang Won-jun and returned to Doosan in 2023 and worked together for 130 wins, also looked very emotional upon hearing the news of his teammate’s retirement.
Yang Eui-ji, who participated as a one-day coach at Chan-ho Park’s youth baseball camp ‘Camp 61’ held in Goyang on October 28, said, “I was bitter to hear the news of (Jang) Won-jun’s retirement, and I want to tell him that he worked hard. As reality approaches, many memorable moments spent with his older brother flash through his mind. “I want to support and applaud his second baseball career,메이저놀이터” he said.
Regarding the most memorable moment with Jang Won-jun, Yang Eui-ji said, “The first thing that comes to mind is the fightback in Game 3 of the Korean Series that gave Won-jun his first win together in his first year here. It was really great for Wonjun to see his older brother come and win, which was his long-cherished dream. Since he was with me for the first and last 130 wins, I think it was fate (laughs). “I really did everything I could,” he said with a smile.