Kim Kang-min, the embarrassed top dog, reports first hit in Hanwha transfer

“I walked seven times and hit one…”

Kim Kang-min (42), an outfielder for the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), recorded his first hit in an official game since joining the organization. The hit was significant because it set the stage for the winning run.

Kim singled to right field as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning of an exhibition game against KT Wiz in the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on Thursday. It was his first hit in eight at-bats and seven at-bats in the exhibition game.

With the score tied 4-4 in the top of the seventh inning, Kim pinch-hit for Jonathan Peraza and faced KT veteran sidearm Woo Kyu-min. With the count 2-2, Kim drove a five-pitch outside changeup that landed in front of the right fielder.

Kim then advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Lee Do-yoon’s single to right. The final run scored to give Hanwha a 6-4 victory. Two batters later in the ninth inning, he recorded the final out of the game when he fielded KT’s Jung Jun-young’s fly ball to center field.

For Kim, it was his first at-bat in an international game. After going 5-for-6 with a walk and a strikeout in five games in camp, Kim was 1-for-6 with a walk and a strikeout in four games before the exhibition game. The 24-year professional veteran’s first hit in a Hanwha uniform was significant, even though it was an exhibition game and not a regular season.

“I went in seven times and hit one…” he said embarrassedly, “It’s an exhibition game, but it feels good to hit one after not being able to hit for so long. I feel like I’m getting better little by little,” he said.

Despite being the oldest player in the league, he has quickly integrated into his new team. He even jokes with his younger teammates that if he gets his first hit for Hanwha in the regular season, he’ll keep the ball as a souvenir. “It’s just a joke,” Kim said. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it, but it doesn’t mean much to me,” he said, adding, “It’s nice to be able to joke with them one more time.”

Kim, who made waves last year when he left SK and SSG after 23 years with the organization through the second round of the draft after the season, also thanked 토토 Hanwha fans for their hospitality. Throughout the exhibition games, whenever he stepped to the plate, he was cheered louder than the other players.

“I think the fans are happy to see me because I’ve changed teams,” Kim said. “It’s a period of preparation for the season. I’m getting used to playing in the first base dugout (in Daejeon). On the first day of the exhibition game, I missed (a pitch), and the outfield is bigger than the one I was used to (Incheon SSG Landers Field), so I have to adjust. It’s different coming to an away game and playing at home all the time. You have to deal with a little more balls, so you have to get used to that. I’m working on my defense a little harder,” he said.

Kim also said, “I can’t say right now that I’m going to play a few games. I’ve never played center before at this age (laughs). I do that every year, but I’m trying to prepare myself to play as many games as possible. I’ll work hard until I’m fit enough.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *