Lee Jong-beom’s nostalgia sparked by KIA Kim Do-young’s 44th record ever

Kim Do-young started as the first batter and third baseman in an away game against the Hanwha Eagles in the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on the 14th.

In this game, Kim Do-young helped his team win 5-2 with two hits in five at-bats, one home run, one run and one RBI.

More than anything else, he created an impressive scene from the start of the game. Kim hit a solo home run as the leadoff hitter in the top of the first inning, hitting the first pitch of 146 km fastball by Hanwha starter Ricardo Sanchez. It was his fourth home run of the season and his first home run as a leadoff hitter in the top of the first inning of his career.

Including Kim Do-young’s home run, the first hitter’s home run in the top of the first inning is a rare record with only 44 times in the KBO League. Coincidentally, it came out three times this season alone. Jung Soo-bin (Doosan Bears) made it against the NC Dinos in Changwon on March 24 and Jihoon Choi (SSG Landers) against the Daegu Samsung Lions on March 29.

The home run as a leadoff hitter is the symbol of Tigers legend Lee Jong-beom. Lee hit a total of 20 home runs as a leadoff hitter in the top of the first inning. He is overwhelmingly the best, twice as many as Jeon Joon-woo (Lotte Giants) and Jeong Keun-woo (retired), who tied for second with 10 each.

In the bottom of the first inning, Lee also recorded 24 home runs, boasting that he ranks first in the history. The runner-up is Lee Young-woo (retired) who hit 10 home runs.

Even if he narrowed the gap to first-pitch homeruns in the top of the first inning, Lee is still No. 1. Lee had three first-pitch homers as leadoff batters in the top of the first inning before his retirement.

Kim Do-young, who graduated from Gwangju Daesung Elementary School, Gwangju Dongseong Middle School, and Gwangju Dongseong High School, wore the uniform of the KIA Tigers as the first pick of the 2022 rookie draft with the modifier Lee Jong-beom.

He played 103 games in the first season of 2022, showing the possibility of 53 hits, three homers, 13 steals, 37 runs scored, 19 runs batted in, 0.237 on-base percentage, 0.312 on-base percentage, 0.362. Last year, he played 84 games, 103 hits, seven homers, 25 steals, 72 runs scored, 47 runs batted in, 0.303 on-base percentage, 0.371 on-base percentage, 0.453.

However, he was hurt for the second consecutive year. During the 2022 season, he tore between his thumb and index finger while defending, and failed to join Geelong Korea due to toe injury after the end of the season. Last season, he lost most of his games in the first half due to a fractured left metatarsal bone. After the 2023 season, he was headfirst sliding during the 2023 Asian Baseball Championship when he failed to properly train during the off-season due to ruptured internal ligament and flexor fracture of his left thumb’s middle finger joint.

After returning from injury, Kim mainly plays as a third baseman and leads Kia’s batters. Although the team was sluggish in March with a batting average of 0.154 with on-base percentage of 0.185 with a slugging percentage of 0.192. In April, the team successfully rebounded with a batting average of 0.346 with a on-base percentage of 0.375 with a slugging percentage of 0.635. Notably, he opened his eyes to slugging power as he hit four home runs in the recent nine games.

Due to the team’s circumstances, he is going back and forth between No. 2 and No. 1, but it is clear that he will be responsible for KIA’s top batting order in the future.

Thanks to Kim Do-young’s homer, KIA recorded its first homer as a leadoff hitter at the top of the first inning in 22 years. Coincidentally, the latest player to hit a leadoff homerun in KIA is Lee Jong-beom. Lee hit a leadoff homerun off Kim Sang-jin against SK Wyverns (currently SSG Landers) on September 13, 2002.

KIA is running first in the league with six consecutive wins thanks to Kim Do-young’s performance. Attention is focusing on whether the second Lee Jong-beom will be able to open a new heyday for KIA.

BY: 스포츠토토핫

Leave a Reply

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