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Kim helps celebrate D-backs' 20th anniversary

Club's former closer throws out first pitch, talks to fans
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Baseball is no longer a part of Byung-Hyun Kim's life -- at least for now -- and it's easy to guess what the former Arizona Diamondbacks closer misses most about the game.

"When I threw the ball, that feeling, I miss that most," Kim said through an interpreter at Chase Field on Monday. "The result comes after my performance, but I just felt that special moment when I threw the ball."

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PHOENIX -- Baseball is no longer a part of Byung-Hyun Kim's life -- at least for now -- and it's easy to guess what the former Arizona Diamondbacks closer misses most about the game.

"When I threw the ball, that feeling, I miss that most," Kim said through an interpreter at Chase Field on Monday. "The result comes after my performance, but I just felt that special moment when I threw the ball."

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He got a chance to somewhat relive that when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the series opener between the D-backs and the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a small part of Kim's return, which also included answering fans' questions on the D-backs Twitter account, touring the club's 20th Anniversary Experience exhibit in right field and staying for the game.

Kim, who played for Arizona from 1999-2003 and for a part of 2007, had a 4.42 ERA in his nine-year MLB career. Of his 86 career saves, 70 were with the D-backs. He was part of the D-backs team that won the 2001 World Series over the New York Yankees.

"When Luis Gonzalez hit the ball, that was a very special memory," he said of Gonzalez's walk-off hit in Game 7. "And when I won that game, that was a very special memory."

It was also a relief, because Kim blew saves in Games 4 and 5. But because of that experience, he now has advice for anyone going through adversity.

"Just concentrate on the work, and the result will be good," he said.

The 39-year old Kim, who was born in South Korea, said it was difficult to play baseball in the United States, but he is now filled with pride when looking back at his career. He also was on the 2004 Boston Red Sox team that snapped a lengthy World Series drought.

Other than throwing out the first pitch on Monday, he said he doesn't know whether he'll return to his craft.

"I think that I want to pitch again, but it's not a time right now," Kim said. "I'm old."

Justin Toscano is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

Arizona Diamondbacks