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BASEBALL EXTRA | DODGER REPORT : NOTES

Park Tired of Being Under Microscope

September 14, 1997|STEVE SPRINGER

If the Dodgers should make it to the World Series, as many as 100 media personnel from Korea will cover it because of Chan Ho Park.

But don't expect the Korean-born right-hander to welcome them with open arms.

He is already feeling the pressure of being his country's biggest sports hero, some of the joy of his best big league season gone because of the intense scrutiny.

"I have lost my freedom," Park said. "I am not having any fun."

It is not only the Korean media hounding the 24-year-old Park. It is Korean fans in Los Angeles and all across the country who seem to show up everywhere he goes, from restaurants to airports.

"They always seem to know where I am going," he said. "It's not just baseball. They care about everything I do."

Park said he doesn't go to dance clubs because he has been made to feel that he must present a squeaky clean image as the most highly visible member of the Korean community.

He doesn't even date anymore.

"I feel," Park said, "like people think I should only play baseball."

*

The four hit batters by Tom Candiotti on Saturday night, including three in the first inning, tied or set all sorts of records.

Candiotti became the 16th pitcher to hit three batters in an inning, and the 17th to hit four in a game in this century.

His three hit batters in an inning was a Dodger record and tied a major league mark accomplished nine times in the National League and six times in the American League. It was last done by Mark Gardner of the Montreal Expos in 1992.

Ten American League pitchers and six in the National League have plunked four in a game, the last being Candiotti's opposing pitcher Saturday night, Darryl Kile, who hit four in a game last season.

John Grimes, pitching for St. Louis in 1897, and Ed Knouff, pitching for Baltimore in the American Assn. in 1887, each hit six in a game.

The four hit batters give the Astros 89 this year, a major league record. They had already broken the mark of 84, set by the Astros last year.

*

The last Dodger minor league team ended its season Friday night when the Class-A San Bernardino Stampede lost to the High Desert Diamondbacks, 3-2, eliminating the Stampede from the California League finals.

In all, six of the nine Dodger affiliates made it to their league finals, with two of them, the double-A San Antonio Missions and the La Ramona Dodgers of the Dominican Summer League, winning championships.

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