Choi Hyung-woo, hot bat…Kia goes undefeated to open season

Choi Hyung-woo’s bat is hot, and KIA’s record is soaring.

Choi Hyung-woo started the 2024 Shinhan Bank SOL Bank KBO League home game against Lotte at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on Sunday, batting fourth in the lineup and blasting a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning to help Kia to an 8-2 victory. It was Choi’s second straight day with the cannon. The previous day, he hit a solo shot in the sixth inning against Lotte to tie the game and set the stage for a come-from-behind victory. Led by Choi’s performance, KIA has won three straight games since opening the season. Kia is currently the only undefeated team in the KBO. It was the first time in 3283 days since March 28-April 1, 2015 that Kia won three straight games after the opening day.

Choi Hyung-woo has had a rough start to the season. Choi has recorded a hit in each of his first three games since the season opener on March 23, with two home runs and five RBIs. Through 27 games, he is batting .400 (4-for-10) with two home runs, five RBIs, and three runs scored.

Choi Hyung-woo was born in 1983. He’s well past his prime, but he’s still showing off his ‘monster power’. In particular, three of his four hits in three games have been long balls of two or more runs. Against Lotte, Choi’s power was on full display. With two outs in the first inning, Choi faced a full count against starter Na Gyun-ahn, and after pushing a forked ball down the middle, Choi sent it over the left field wall. Choi extended his career home run total to 375, moving him into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time home run list.

Choi’s consistency is due to his hard work and dedication. Even though he’s the oldest player on the team, he still grits his teeth and swings the bat. He’s the youngest player on the team, but he still swings the bat with gritted teeth. He also leads the way in doing the dirty work and has earned the trust of his teammates and coaching staff.

In fact, Choi Hyeong-woo is a “big man” who overcame the difficulties of being released. After making his debut for Samsung in 2002, he appeared in only six games until 2004, when he was released in 2005. With nowhere else to go, Choi worked as a laborer at a construction site and turned his life around by joining the National Police Agency Baseball Team in the Futures League (second division). He won the 2007 Futures League title in all categories except stolen bases 토토사이트 and rejoined Samsung the following year, where he was named Rookie of the Year. Choi led Samsung to the integrated championship from 2011 to 2014 before moving to KIA in 2017, the first KBO team to enter the 10 billion won ransom era. Nicknamed the “championship hitman,” Choi has since signed two extensions with Kia. After last season, he signed another multi-year deal totaling 2.2 billion won ($1.1 million).

“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten off to such a good start in my baseball career,” Choi said after the game, “and the team is doing well right now. It’s so good. We’re off to a good start,” he smiled broadly. Kia manager Lee Bum-ho said, “It was a game where the batters’ concentration stood out in the early innings. It was good to see how Choi Hyung-woo hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning and then scored more runs in subsequent chances,” said Lee.


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