Hyun-Jin Ryu is following in the footsteps of former major league pitcher Chan Ho Park, who inspired him and countless other South Korean kids who dreamed about getting to the big leagues.
Ryu is slated to make his official debut Tuesday on the same mound Park threw his first pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 1994.
Park spent 17 seasons in the majors before retiring at the end of the 2010 campaign with a 124-98 record, 4.36 ERA and 1,715 strikeouts. He spent his first eight big league campaigns with Los Angeles, making his official debut with a mop-up ninth inning in Kent Mercker's no-hitter for the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium, and once gave up two grand slams in one inning by the St. Louis Cardinals' Fernando Tatis.
Now it's Ryu's turn to be the darling of the large Korean population in Southern California - without the grand slams.
''I followed his career a pretty good deal,'' Ryu said through a translator on Friday before an exhibition game against the Angels. ''...