American media outlet The Athletic published a feature article on the success story of Ha-Sung Kim (San Diego Padres) on Aug. 8 (KST).
The article featured Park Chan-ho, the first Korean to play major league baseball in the United States, and wrote that Kim, like Park, is an inspiration to the next generation of Korean players.
“In a culture dominated by hierarchy, Kim strived to make it to the Korean version of the big leagues from an early age,” The Athletic said. “He was drawn to the sport early on by the idea of wearing a clean baseball uniform. He quickly demonstrated remarkable instincts and athleticism.”
“Kim’s mother nurtured her son’s passion,” he said. “She enjoyed watching Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw because of his Christian faith.” “Over time, another kind of faith took root in the family in Bucheon, just outside of Seoul,” he explained.
“The dream came to me naturally,” Kim said, “and I set a goal to become a major leaguer myself one day,” according to The Athletic.
“I had a really bad moment mentally at the lowest point of my career,” Kim said of his extreme hitting slump in his rookie year in the majors, “I thought, ‘Maybe I don’t belong here, maybe I should go back to Korea. But it was only my first year, and I told myself to challenge myself and see what happens.”
When asked about the enthusiastic support he received from the San Diego fans, Kim said, “I felt overwhelmed because I wasn’t a good player. I was a bench player and a pinch hitter, but I can only thank the fans for the love I received. That’s what motivates me to be a hustle player and give my 100 percent to repay the fans.”
The Athletic reported that Kim is more popular than ever in the San Diego clubhouse, in part because he speaks three languages.
“I think he’s more Dominican than any other player here,” Manny Machado joked. Fernando Tatis Jr. praised Kim, saying, “He’s turned into one of the 토토사이트 best players this year.” Pitcher Blake Snell said, “He plays with his heart and plays the right way. He deserves all the love,” said pitcher Blake Snell.
“There are a lot of good players in Korea, a lot of young talent,” Kim said, “and that’s what motivates me to play harder.”