Kang Jung-ho uses time off to help others

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Kang Jung-ho uses time off to help others

Beleaguered major league infielder Kang Jung-ho has been giving free youth clinics and donating equipment, while his playing career remains in limbo, a source close to the player said Thursday.

Kang remains without a work permit to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, having received a suspended sentence over drunk driving charges earlier this year.

Kang has kept a low profile while training on his own in Korea, and the source said he’s recently visited four different regions in the South Gyeongsang area, in the southeastern part of the country, to work with young players.

The source said the local baseball association in the city of Busan, some 450 kilometers (279 miles) southeast of Seoul, contacted Kang about leading clinics. Kang also donated baseball equipment to youth teams in the area, the source added.

The Pirates have placed Kang on the restricted list, which is for players who are unable to play for non-injury reasons, such as arrests or family matters. Kang will not be paid or earn major league service time while on this list.

Last December, Kang fled the scene after crashing into a guardrail on his way to a hotel in southern Seoul. Kang’s blood alcohol content level was 0.084 percent. The legal limit is 0.05 percent.

The DUI arrest was Kang’s third in Korea. His driver’s license has since been revoked under the three strikes law.

He received an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, in March and lost his appeal two months later.

The suspended jail term means Kang will avoid actual prison time if he stays out of trouble over the next two years, but he’d hoped the court would reduce the punishment to a fine and open the door for him to re-apply for the U.S. visa.

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