“I don’t need it.”
Choi Hyung-woo (KIA Tigers) went 2-for-3 with two doubles (one home run), two RBIs, two runs scored and one walk in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the Hanwha Eagles at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on Tuesday. He became the first KBO player to reach 1,500 hits.
Choi felt good at the plate from his first at-bat. He led off the second inning with a double to left-center field. It was his 477th career double.
After warming up, Choi came up with the big hit in the top of the fourth inning, trailing 0-1. With the bases loaded and one out, Choi took advantage of a 145 km/h four-seam fastball from Han Seung-ju. The ball was outside the zone and he drove it over the center field fence. The ball traveled 125 meters.
With his two-run homer, Choi became the KBO’s all-time leader in RBIs, passing Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop (1,498). He also became the first KBO player to reach 1,500 career RBIs.
However, he did not receive a commemorative ball. The ball hit into the stands and was handed back to the crowd by center fielder Moon Hyun-bin. Afterward, both teams tried to get the ball, but the crowd wanted to keep it.
Choi didn’t make much of the fact that he didn’t receive a commemorative ball. “It’s my personal opinion, but I don’t need the ball,” he told reporters after the game.
“It feels so good,” Choi said of reaching 1500 runs. My memory is weak, but I can still remember bits and pieces of my baseball life so far. I feel very happy,” he said, adding, “I remember the most when I got my first hit.”
Choi was drafted by the Samsung Lions with the 48th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2002 KBO First-Year Player Draft, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he began to blossom. On April 1, 2008, he hit his first KBO hit with a two-run home run against the LG Twins in Jamsil.
Since then, he’s been hitting consistently, amassing more than 1,500 hits in 16 seasons. Notably, he produced 100 RBIs in five consecutive seasons from 2014 to 1018. He is only the third player in KBO history to record 100 RBIs in five consecutive years.먹튀검증
“I’m not so much happy that I’m the first to do it, but that I’ve lived a meaningful life as a center fielder for 16 seasons,” Choi said. “Of course, this record was talked about by many people, so I was somewhat conscious of it. “But other than that, I don’t think I would care if I had the record. I’m just going to keep going until I retire,” he said.