Park surpasses Nomo for most wins by Asian-born pitcher
The Pirates had another reason to celebrate on Friday night in Miami. Not only did the Pirates defeat the Marlins 5-1, Chan Ho Park picked up the victory –his 124th– passing Nomo for the most wins by an Asian-born pitcher in major league history.
“One hundred, twenty-four is not great for the Major Leagues, but it’s very special,” said the South Korean native, who entered Friday tied with Japan’s Hideo Nomo with 123 wins. “It makes me think about 17 years ago, when I first came [to America]. I think about the people who brought me here and helped me. I’ve met a lot of special people through my career, and today, that means a lot.”
Upon entering the clubhouse, Park was doused with beer and celebrated with the Pirates team. He was given the lineup card and game used ball and Park even decided to keep everything, from his socks to his underwear –which was soaked in beer– as a memento of the milestone moment.
“Obviously, that means much, much more than a couple of weeks ago when I had the last win,” said Park, who tied Nomo back on Sept. 12. “Honestly, I thought it was going to be tough to get another one this season. Now that I’ve made it, it’s very special. It’s great for my family. And it’s very special for my fans in Korea.”
Even players of the team were excited and happy to share this moment with Park.
“To be a part of that was quite a highlight of my baseball career so far,” said Daniel McCutchen, who pitched the first four innings on Friday. “He came in and dominated. He’s the story of the day. That’s a huge accomplishment for him and his country.”
Dominated, he did. Park pitched three innings not allowing a hit or run and struck out six.
“He wanted it,” Russell said. “He was locked in. We were trying to get him that extra one and it was awesome. He threw the ball great tonight. I can’t be more proud of him.”