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Fellow KBO managers send best wishes to ailing SK Wyverns' skipper

All Headlines 17:51 June 26, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, June 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korean baseball managers sent their best wishes to an ailing rival Friday, saying they would like to see him back in the dugout soon.

During Thursday's Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) regular season game, SK Wyverns' manager Youm Kyoung-youb fell unconscious in the dugout and was quickly transported to a local hospital. He has since regained consciousness, and the Wyverns said Youm was able to have simple conversations with his family Thursday evening.

This file photo from June 18, 2020, shows SK Wyverns' manager Youm Kyoung-youb in a pregame press conference before facing the KT Wiz in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Youm, 52, will remain hospitalized for further tests. Doctors have cited lack of sleep, poor diet and severe stress as reasons for Youm's condition.

The incident was close to home for Son Hyuk, current Kiwoom Heroes' manager who served as Youm's pitching coach for the Wyverns in 2019. The two had also worked together as manager-pitching coach tandem with the Heroes in 2015 and 2016.

"I heard about his situation during our game Thursday, and I was really shocked," Son said Friday before his team hosted the Kia Tigers at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. "He's very dear to my heart. He gave me the opportunity to coach when I was working in television, and he let me do what I wanted to do. He also helped me get my first managerial job."

Matt Williams, the Tigers' manager, said it was "scary" what Youm is going through at the moment.

Kiwoom Heroes' manager Son Hyuk (R) greets Park Byung-ho in the dugout after Park's solo home run against the LG Twins in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on June 23, 2020. (Yonhap)

"Stress is a dangerous thing," Williams said. "We wish him the best. Hopefully, he's back in the dugout soon."

Son said he decompresses by reading comic books and playing "Go," or the board game called "baduk" in Korea.

"I try to sleep as much as I can," Son added. "Some nights, I fall asleep while reading a comic book."

Williams beats stress by exercising. He's famous for running up and down the stairs of every stadium he visits, and Gocheok Sky Dome was one of only two remaining stadiums that Williams hadn't seen this season.

"It's painful, but it works," Williams said of his pregame routine.

In this file photo from June 16, 2020, Kia Tigers' manager Matt Williams watches his team in action against the NC Dinos in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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