San Diego Padres’ Ha-Sung Kim, 28,메이저놀이터 exploded for his first career multi-hit game. In front of his KBO teammates and the pioneers who led the way to the major leagues, Kim accelerated his path to becoming the first Asian to reach the big leagues.
Kim batted first and third in the lineup against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2023 Major League Baseball game at Petco Park in San Diego, California, USA, on Friday (July 25), and blasted a three-homer game. He went 3-for-4 with two home runs, three RBIs, two runs scored and one walk. His batting average rose to 2.7 on the season and his OPS jumped from .784 to .810.
Kim’s bat exploded in the first inning. Kim led off the first inning with a two-pitch, one-strike at-bat, launching a four-pitch 92.8 mph fastball over the left-center field fence for a solo shot. It was his 13th home run of the season and third leadoff blast.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, he cleared the fence again. With runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, down 8-1, he lifted a four-pitch 83.8-mph slider over the wall in left-center. It was his 14th home run of the season and the first multi-homer game of his major league career.
With his first career multi-homer game, Kim had one of the best days of his career, and the iconic 20-homer plateau is no longer a pipe dream. With 18 stolen bases to his credit, he is now within striking distance of becoming the first Asian infielder to join the 20-homer, 20-stolen base club. With six home runs in July alone, it’s still not out of reach at his current pace, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Coincidentally, Kim’s predecessor as the Heroes’ shortstop, Kang Jung-ho, was in attendance at Petco Park in San Diego. He hosted a live broadcast of the ‘Intuition Verification’ on his YouTube channel, ‘King Kang’. He cheered for his junior at every at-bat, and when he hit a home run, he jumped up and down, shouting “jackpot” like it was his job. He exclaimed in admiration that his successor now had the pace to outrun him.
Kang became the first KBO shortstop to hit 40 home runs and 100 RBIs in 2014 in a Heroes uniform before joining the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015. After dominating the shortstop position in the KBO, the “King of Peace” carried his momentum to the major leagues. In 2015, Kang established himself as a dominant infielder, hitting .421 (121-for-421) with 15 home runs, 58 RBIs, and an OPS of .816 in 126 games. A season-ending “killer tackle” that left him with a broken tibia prevented him from completing the full season. The following year, he played fewer games but showed an upgrade in power. In 103 games (318 at-bats, 81 hits), he batted just 2-for-5, but produced 21 home runs, 62 RBIs, and an OPS of .867.
His major league career didn’t go smoothly, as he was later caught driving under the influence of alcohol, but he certainly made history as the first Asian-American major league infielder.
After taking over Kang’s spot on the Heroes, Kim followed in his footsteps and made it to the major leagues. And now, he’s on his way to breaking new ground and making history as the first Asian-American major league infielder.