Jung-Ho Kang rightfully knows how it feels like having everything in a moment and then losing most of it in a short time.
He deserved to achieve big things because he was good at his game. But he also deserved to lose what he had achieved earlier because it’s not justifiable to indulge in the dirt again and again.
Jung Ho Kang used to be the nation’s pride to South Koreans years ago. However, it won’t be wrong to regard him as the nation’s disgrace for whatever he did.
Jung Ho Kang is a South Korean professional baseball player. He was associated with the Hyundai Unicorns and Nexen Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). KBO is the premium baseball league in South Korea.
Similarly, he was associated with the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB) lately.
MLB is an American professional baseball organization, which happens to be one of the oldest sports leagues in the United States.
Today, we’ll be diving deep into Jung Ho Kang’s personal and professional life, including everything from his early life and debut to his baseball career and controversies.
Quick Facts About Jung-Ho Kang
|Full Name||Kang Ho-Jung
Korean pronunciation: [kaŋ.dʑʌŋ.ɦo]
|Known As||Jung Ho-Kang|
|Birth Date||April 5, 1987|
|Birth Place||Gwangju, South Korea|
|Age||35 years old|
|Education||Gwangju Jeil High School|
|Father’s Name||Sung Su Kang|
|Mother’s Name||Myung-Hee Cho|
|Height||6 feet (183 cm)|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
|Relationship Status||Not Known|
|Affiliations||Korean Baseball Organization (KBO)
Major League Baseball (MLB)
|Last KBO Appearance||2014|
|MLB Debut||January 2015|
|Last MLB Appearance||2019|
|Former Teams||Hyundai Unicorns of KBO
Nexen Heroes of KBO
Pittsburg Pirates of MLB
|Salary||$2.5 million (in 2016)|
|Controversies||An accusation of sexual assault (not proved)
Charged for Driving under the influence (DUO) / Drunk-driving thrice
|Net Worth||$12 Million|
|Social Media Handles||Instagram, Twitter|
|Nexen Heroes of KBO’s Merch||T-shirt|
|Last Update||June, 2022|
Jung-Ho Kang – Early life and Amateur Baseball Career
Jung-Ho Kang attended Gwangju Jeil High School. He played as a catcher in high school baseball.
Gwangju High School is known for producing some of the country’s finest baseball players. Seo Jae-weong, Kim Byung-Hyun, and Choi Hee-Seop of MLB also went to the same high school as Kang.
It was to be paid because they owned the exclusive rights to negotiate Kang’s contract and also for losing Kang.
Jung-Ho Kang signed a four-year contract worth $11 million with the Pittsburgh Pirates on January 16, 2015. The contract also had an option for the fifth year.
Kang then went to Pittsburgh from South Korea to legitimize the contract. They also went for a physical test, a must for a sportsperson. However, no press conference or any other announcement program was held.
Kang decided to train with his former club, Nexen Heroes, in preparation for his MLB debut. Actually, Nexen heroes had arrived in Arizona for their Spring Training hosted by the Texas Rangers spring training facility.
They trained together from January 25, 2015 – February 7, 2015. Kang worked precisely on his strength while training.
Kang’s transition from the KBO to the MLB was covered by Korea-based and US-based Korean language media houses. However, there was not much domestic coverage.
Similarly, Kang then attended the spring training game at Bradenton, Florida. He had a faceoff with Jordy Mercer for the starting shortstop job at the spring training.
Further, Kang connected on a 0-1 fastball (middle-in), taking advantage of a mistake by Marco Estrada, Toronto’s right-handed starting pitcher, in the second at-bat of his first spring training game in 2015.
He recorded an opposite-field solo home run in the third inning. Hence, he contributed to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 5-0 lead and eventual 8-7 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Similarly, Kang grabbed his first Major League hit against Milwaukee Brewers Kyle Lohse on April 5, 2015. Kang then secured his first RBI against the Chicago Cubs on April 21.
It was a bases-clearing RBI double that took the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8–5 lead.
Kang batted to establish a lead in the 9th inning while his team was at a 0-1 loss in St. Louis on May 3, 2015. Kang then connected on the inning’s first pitch, bringing the game into a 1-1 tie against Trevor Rosenthal of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Hence, the Pittsburgh Pirates achieved a 7–5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on May 9, 2015. Also, they succeeded in becoming the first MLB team to turn a 4–5–4 triple play.
Similarly, Kang connected on an impressive 472-ft solo shot on September 8, 2015. It was his 14th shot of the season, on the road against the Cincinnati Reds.
Further, Kang’s had to deal with a severe left-leg fracture when the baserunner Chris Coghlan of Chicago Clubs attempted to break the double play by sliding into Kang. It was an aggressive move.
As a result, Kang was placed on the 60-day disabled list. He even had to miss the remaining games of the season. In fact, he could not even participate in the postseason NL wild-card game.
Nonetheless, the Pittsburgh Pirates were the host to the Chicago Cubs at the NL wild-card game.
Kang appeared in the wheelchair on the field during the pre-game introductions of the NL Wild Card game on October 7. He received a standing ovation.
In short, Jung-Ho Kang participated in 126 games in the 2015 season, scoring 15 home runs and 58 RBIs. Also, he gained third place in the National League’s Rookie of the Year voting.
Kang played his first game after an injury on May 6, 2016. He recorded two solo home runs in the game. His score contributed to the Pirates’ 4–2 road victory over their NL Central division rival St. Louis Cardinals.
Kang played 103 games, batting .255 with a career-high 21 home runs and 62 RBIs in the 2016 season.
Kang indulged in some massive legal troubles in 2017. Hence, the Pittsburgh Pirates placed Kang on the Restricted List on March 11. He was stuck in South Korea when this decision was made.
Further, he was not a part of the Pirates’ active roster or 40-man roster on April 3, 2017, the opening day. His work visa to travel to the United States was terminated as well.
A Korean court upheld the verdict of Kang’s suspended sentence on May 18. Henceforth, his games in the United States were greatly disturbed.
Jung-Ho Kang – Controversies
Kang has been a part of legal troubles several times.
He matched with a 23-year-old woman from Chicago on Bumble. He invited her to his hotel room.
She went to his hotel room at about 10 p.m. on June 17, 2016. She claimed to have been given an alcoholic drink that made her blackout about 15 to 20 minutes later. Further, the woman claimed to have been sexually assaulted.
She said that the drink drifted her in and out of consciousness as he sexually assaulted her. However, no charges were brought against Kang because the accused didn’t cooperate with the police investigation.
Similarly, he was arrested for driving under the influence in South Korea at the end of the 2016 season.
It was his third Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offense.
Kang was given an eight-month suspended prison sentence in March 2017 after he left the scene of an accident in Seoul on December 2, 2016.
He was charged for the same offense in 2009 and 2011. The Pittsburgh Pirates had no idea about these charges while recruiting Kang.
The Korean authorities refused to provide a work permit to Kang to enter the United States. This incident brought an end to his 2017 season.
Jung-Ho Kang – The Second Chance (Return to the Pittsburgh Pirates)
The Pittsburgh Pirates built an agreement for Kang to join a treatment program. Kang cooperated in it faithfully.