“Because you don’t know when you’ll be released…” A 30-year-old infielder who was even determined to retire, challenged to hit 30G consecutive times

Son Ho-young (30) of the Lotte Giants in professional baseball talked about his pride in achieving a hit record in 30 consecutive games.

Son Ho-young started the game against the Kiwoom Heroes in the “2024 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League” held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 21st and recorded no hits and no walks in three times at bat. The record of hits in consecutive games stopped in 30 games as he failed to hit a hit on the day.

Although it fell short of Park Jung-tae’s record of most consecutive hits (31 games) in a single season in 1999, Son Ho-young tied for third in the KBO League with Kim Jae-hwan, who had 30 consecutive hits in 2018. The second place is Park Jung-tae’s 31 consecutive hits, and the first place is Park Jong-ho’s 39 consecutive hits from 2003 to 2004.
Son Ho-young, who unfortunately missed the chance to achieve the milestone, said in an interview on Tuesday, “I’m so satisfied with the third place. When would I ever do something like this. I was so happy and had fun the whole time trying to set a new record. People around me are worried about me a lot, but I really have no regrets. If I get this opportunity again, I think I will become a little greedy. Someday, I may have another opportunity. What has gone by, however, is bygone. I left everything yesterday in my hotel room. While I had hits in 30 consecutive games, I was so good that I’m worried that I’ll come up all the way up and go down, but I’m still trying to do the same.”

Son’s 30-game hitting streak is tied for third and second in Lotte’s history. Park Jung-tae, who holds the best record in Lotte, also sent a message of support to his juniors. Son said, “I saw a message of support, too. There are many better players than me, and I think one of them will do it because there are many younger players in our team. That was it for me.” 핑크알바

Son’s attempt at a hit in 31 consecutive games left much to be desired. In the top of the eighth inning, Son entered the batter’s box with no outs and runners on the first and third bases. Left-handed relief pitcher Kim Seong-min hit his second pitch to the first base, and second baseman Kim Hye-seong quickly jumped out, caught the ball and threw it to the first base immediately. Son swung himself into the first base with a headfirst sliding, but the first base umpire declared his out. Lotte requested to read the video, but the ruling was not reversed. “I honestly thought it was out. Still, I was so grateful to the manager for requesting the video review,” Son said.

In the top of the ninth inning, Lotte had a chance with two outs and runners on the second and third bases with pinch-hitter Junghoon Lee’s hit, Hwang Sung-bin’s infield hit, and a stolen base. If Ko Seung-min got on base, Son Ho-young could have had another chance at bat, but as Ko Seung-min’s hit was caught by left fielder Ronnie Dawson’s defense, Son Ho-young’s chance to try to get a hit in 31 consecutive games was also lost.

“When I saw him hit the ball, I thought the game was over. That was the only thing that came to my mind. I didn’t get to play well before then. It’s a shame, but I just thought that’s it. If I had one more at-bat, I wouldn’t know, but I think it’s weird to say that I could have hit something that didn’t happen,” Son calmly accepted his failure to set a record for hits in 31 consecutive games.

Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki rooted for Son Ho-young, who is challenging to break the milestone even though he is a player from the opposing team. “I think it’s a bit inappropriate to say that he blocked the record,” a smiling Hong Won-ki said, “As a player from another team, I am proud to see Son Ho-young perform well in Lotte, surviving like weeds even in difficult conditions while playing for the LG Twins on Sunday. I root for them to challenge those records, and those images will serve as good models for the Futures League players and other players. I cheered for them on Sunday as well, but since the pitcher did his best and defense did his best, I can applaud them for reaching the milestone.”

Son Ho-young, who said, “I think I need to work harder,” after hearing Hong Won-ki’s message, said, “My younger siblings feel the same way. They tell me a lot that they are doing well in Lotte. I feel proud whenever I hear such things. Other players will also think that a good day will come. I hope everyone else does well.”

Son had a lackluster season with the LG Twins last season. He couldn’t participate in the spring camp this year due to injury. Eventually, he moved to the Lotte Giants through a trade deal. Nevertheless, he is enjoying his best season in 47 games with a batting average of 31.8 percent (55 hits in 173 times at bat), eight homers with 36 RBIs, 29 runs scored and six steals, and an OPS of .893.

“I think I quit baseball the most last year,” Son said frankly. “I didn’t think I was quitting on my own. I thought, however, that since I’m at an age when I’ll be released, I should enjoy it comfortably. Now I think I need to prepare myself. That’s why I came to Lotte with a unique mindset,” Son said.

LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop, who sent Son Ho-young to Lotte, is a player who sent him to another team, but he still cares about him. “When I greet the manager after meeting him, he says, ‘Oh, it’s a battle of hands,'” Son Ho-young said. Unknowingly, I feel a little proud. In a way, he let me go. I am grateful. He contacted me on the day of the trade and when I hit the final shot. He is very affectionate.”

“I don’t have any special goals,” Son said. “I just want to play in 100 games just like before. I would be grateful if you send me the All-Star game. It is an opportunity that I may go there once in a lifetime. It would be great to go there. I want to watch the All-Star game at least once. I will do my best next year,” Son said, renewing his commitment for the rest of the season.

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