Choi Hyung-woo (KIA Tigers) went 2-for-3 with a double (one home run), two RBI, two runs scored and one walk in the 2023 Shinhan Bank 꽁머니 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. He stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out and took advantage of a 145 km/h four-seam fastball from Han Seung-ju. The ball was just outside the zone and he drove it over the center field fence. The ball traveled 125 meters.
With the two-run home run, 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 expressed their desire to keep it.
Choi didn’t make much of the fact that he didn’t receive a commemorative ball. “Personally, 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 메이저토토 than 1,500 hits in 16 seasons. Most notably, he produced 100 RBIs in five consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2018. He is only the third player in KBO history to record 100 RBIs in five consecutive seasons.
“I’m not just happy because it’s the first record, but I think I lived my life a little more meaningfully 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.