Kim Hye-sung’s “Dignity of Captain”…”Thank you to the preliminary entry players”
The 2023 season has come to a close for Korean baseball captain Kim Hye-sung, who once again led his team to victory at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.
Led by head coach Ryu Jung-il, South Korea’s baseball team finished as runners-up in the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) 2023 final, falling to Japan 3-4 at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on Monday.
Kim Hye-sung, who batted first and second, had a two-hit game, going 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored. In addition to her offense, she was steady on defense, taking the pressure off the pitchers.
After the awards ceremony, Kim Hye-sung met with the media in the mixed zone, saying, “Even if I can’t get on base every at-bat, I wanted to create opportunities for myself as a leadoff hitter. In a short game, you can’t win by blocking shots, so you need to hit well and score runs. I think we need to improve and play harder baseball in the future,” he said after the tournament.굿모닝토토 도메인
“I felt that Japan was a strong team once again, but I also felt that they are not a team to beat in the short term. Everyone played so well that I think the young Korean players have a lot of potential to develop in the future.”
Kim Hye-sung, who served as captain at the Hangzhou Asian Games, also served as a bridge between the players and the coaching staff. Coach Ryu Jung-il mentioned her name in every interview and thanked her for creating a positive atmosphere.
“I don’t know (the coach’s praise). He doesn’t say anything in front of me (laughs). I saw the juniors doing well, so I think I just need to do well in the future. It’s not that I led them, but they followed me well for a short period of time, so when I said something, they listened and behaved well, so I’m very grateful to them,” she said.
While talking about the coaching staff and players, Kim also mentioned the reserve players who accompanied the team.
Prior to the APBC, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) organized a preliminary roster in addition to the final roster in case of injuries or deterioration in the KBO postseason schedule. In fact, when LG and KT replaced all the players who played in the Korean Series on the 12th, Shin Min-hyuk (NC), Cho Byung-hyun (SSG), Yasu Na Seung-yeop (Lotte), and Moon Hyun-bin (Hanwha), four reserve players who were training in Daegu, boarded a flight to Tokyo.
The other reserve players – Lee Byung-heon (Doosan), Heo In-seo (Hanwha), Han Tae-yang, and Kim Tae-kyung (Sangsung) – accompanied the team to Japan regardless of whether they played in the tournament. Even if they didn’t play in the tournament, the KBO believed that being part of the national team and traveling on the international stage would be beneficial.
“I want to thank the players who weren’t included in the final roster,” said Kim Hye-sung, “They didn’t show any signs of being upset when they weren’t on the roster and helped the team train.”
Kim Hye-sung, who visited Tokyo Dome eight months after the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, talked about the differences between the WBC and APBC preparations. “I think it was harder to prepare for (the WBC), and (this tournament) was played so soon after the season, so I think everyone prepared hard,” Kim said.
With the APBC schedule wrapped up, Kim is finally able to wrap up the 2023 season. Reflecting on the year, Kim said, “I’ve been preparing for the season since November last year, so I’ve been playing for almost a year now, and I’m grateful that I can do it. If I retire in the future, I can’t do it even if I want to, but I’m trying to be faithful to the present and cherish it.”
In conclusion, Kim Hye-sung said, “I’m sorry that the result was disappointing. I was grateful to the fans because they spent time and money to come, but I couldn’t repay them with a good result. Nevertheless, I am grateful to the fans who supported us until the end.” “I think we had a year of highs and lows. There were good things and bad things. But it can’t be all good, so I think it will help us prepare for next year. We need to do better, so we will work hard during the off-season.”