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Hitting King Story gets emotional, ‘admits’ to 20-win monster ace

“I felt like it would be a jinx if I didn’t do it again this year.”

Aside from the LG Twins, who just won their first Korean Series title in 29 years, Son As-seop (35, NC Dinos) might be one of the happiest people in the KBO this year. In 140 games this season, Son is batting .339 with 187 hits in 551 at-bats, five home runs, 65 RBIs, 97 runs scored, 14 doubles, a .443 on-base percentage, a .393 OPS, and a .836 slugging percentage.

Won the batting title for the first time in his 17th season as a pro. Lost two straight batting titles. The team lost in the playoffs, but Son proved his worth in his second year of free agency. What’s more, he made up for missing out on the batting title by finishing second in batting in 2013 and 2020 and third in batting in 2012 and 2014.

In fact, Son hit .345 in 2013, but Samsung Lions head coach Lee Byung-gyu won the batting title with a .348 average. In 2020, he hit 0.342, but Choi Hyung-woo (KIA Tigers) hit 0.354 to take the title. In fact, in 2014, he came in third with 0.362, but it wasn’t by much as the winner, Seo Gun-chang (then of the Nexen Heroes), hit 0.370.

The NC Dinos official YouTube channel focused on Son Ah-seop, who attended the KBO Awards on April 28 (KST). In addition to his official comments to fans and reporters, the channel also showed some of his conversations with Eric Peddie and with Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom Heroes) at a table.

Son had a good-natured confrontation with Kim Hye-seong. Kim also ranked third in batting with a .335 average. She had the most hits with 186, just one behind Son. When Kim Hye-sung mentioned Son’s history of challenging for the batting title, Son replied, “The batting title is the first. I’m not the kind of person who sees a lot of balls, so I’ve only been second three times (twice actually).”

He continued, “I felt like it would be a jinx if I didn’t win this time. I lost all of them by two or three strokes.” When Kim Hye-sung said, “That’s a real difference,” Son Asob smiled and extended one of his fingers, saying, “A real difference of one hit.”

When Kim Hye-sung said, “You’re the senior now,” Son said, “I’m too old now.” Despite his words, the corners of his mouth turned up as his junior praised him. Afterward, he spoke with an NC foreign player interpreter, who told him that he was “crying” after winning the batting title. I was very emotional.”

The employee also told Pedi about Son’s bid for the batting title. Pedi told him that he “definitely deserved (the batting title and the most hits)”. Son didn’t say anything else, but his pride was evident. It was a big day for him.

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