“They said they won’t give it to me. I personally don’t need the ball, but if the KBO needs it, I don’t think about it.”

Choi Hyung-woo, 40, of the KIA 꽁머니지급 Tigers, broke the KBO’s RBI record with a game-winning two-run shot. He became the first player in the KBO’s 42-year history to reach the 1,500-RBI plateau, but he didn’t receive a commemorative bat. However, Choi was cool with the idea of a commemorative ball.

Choi batted fourth and designated hitter against the Hanwha Eagles in Daejeon on Tuesday, going 3-for-4 with two doubles (one home run), two RBIs, two runs scored, and one walk. Behind the fiery veteran’s performance, KIA won 6-4, improving to 28 wins, 1 tie, and 31 losses and moving closer to a 5-percent winning percentage.

The historic milestone came in dramatic form when they needed it most. Against Han Seung-ju, who had struck out three straight batters in the top of the third inning, Choi hit a fastball (145 kilometers per hour) over the center field fence with one out in the top of the fourth inning. It was a 125-meter home run and the moment Choi surpassed Lee Seung-yeop (47) as the Doosan Bears’ all-time leader in home runs.

The monumental ball hit the outfield grass at Daejeon Hanwha Life Eagles Park and came back into play, where Hanwha center fielder Moon Hyun-bin threw it back into the stands. Both Hanwha and KIA tried to get a souvenir from the spectator who caught the ball, but he refused. Choi Hyung-woo, however, didn’t seem too bothered by not receiving a souvenir. He spoke to reporters for less than 12 seconds about the spectator’s possession of the souvenir. He answered briefly, and over the course of 10 minutes, he expressed his emotions over the course of his life.

Choi was selected by the Samsung Lions with the 48th pick in the sixth round of the 2002 rookie draft after graduating from Jinnukcho, Jeonju Dongjoong, and Jeonju. However, he only appeared in six games for the first team until 2004 and was released in 2005. Military matters were not easy either. He was unsuccessful in his attempt to join the Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Commerce) and got a chance to play again when he joined the newly formed National Police Agency baseball team. “I don’t have a good memory, but the moment I hit a home run, I remembered a little bit of my baseball life so far,” Choi said. I remembered that moment at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in 2008, when I scored my first hit,” he said.

The hard-earned opportunity paid off, as he led the 2007 Futures League in all batting categories except stolen bases, and rejoined Samsung in 2008. On April 1 of that year, he got his first first-team hit against the LG Twins in Jamsil and spent the next 16 seasons at the top of the KBO, recording more than 50 hits every year.

“I couldn’t have imagined myself not being a starter at the age of 26. At that time, I couldn’t even dream of it,” Choi said. “I’m not happy because this record is also the first in the KBO,메이저토토 but I’m more happy because I don’t know how I could have gotten here. I’m also very emotional because I think I’ve lived a meaningful life as a center fielder for 16 seasons. On days like today, I like to give myself a little pat on the back.”

The last two years have been marred by eye problems. Naturally, as he approached the age of 40, many people talked about retirement. Choi said, “I’ve been thinking about quitting (the sport) since last year. I thought I might only play this year, this month, or tomorrow. Whenever I’m not doing well, those thoughts go through my mind,” he said, adding, “Even if I retire, I don’t have a lot of regrets or anything like that, so I’m enjoying it. Of course, there are times when I’m so out of breath when I hit a double that it’s hard,” he laughed.

Despite not having a single regular season MVP, Choi Hyung-woo has left his mark on KBO history at a late age with consistency that surpasses that of an MVP player. He is an inspiration to many younger players, especially hitters who are frustrated by the difficulty of getting results as a pitcher.

Choi says, “I always try to play every day. I don’t like to take a game or two off, take a day off if I’m not feeling well, take a day off if I’m sick. Even though I’m forty-one, I want to play even if I can’t because I’m being pushed out by juniors.” “Recently, juniors from other teams have been asking me a lot, and I always tell them not to be disappointed with one at-bat or one game, and that opportunities will come if they keep doing what they’ve planned. You can’t give up.”

Now, every time he gets on base and hits a double, he makes KBO history. He is only 35 away from becoming the KBO’s third 400-homer hitter. “I’ve achieved the record,” Choi said, “but I’m just going to keep trying to get hits when I’m in scoring position. I don’t have a set goal. I’m just trying to do a good job right now and help the team win 5% of the games,” he said.

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