“My employee brought me a commemorative ball and asked Coach Beom-ho Lee to write it down.”
KIA Tigers outfielder Lee Woo-sung (29) had an unforgettable day as he started as the sixth hitter and right fielder against the Gwangju Doosan Bears on the 15th. Woo-sung Lee hit a comeback home run with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the 4th inning when KIA was down 1-2. It was his first grand slam since he started his professional career after being nominated by Doosan in 2013. It was a shot that completely destroyed Doosan starting pitcher Brandon Waddell, and it was also a shot that completely lifted the mood on the bench, turning the game around 5-2. If the bullpen had not collapsed and the team had not lost 6-8, the star of the day would have been Lee Woo-sung.
A day later, Lee Woo-sung slowly looked back on the first grand slam of his career. He said, “I was down 0-1 in my first at-bat, and I had a chance to score on third base, but I didn’t get a good result. Fortunately, it was an error (by the opposing third baseman), so I scored (but the score was scored), and the manager told me to go in the second at-bat. Previously, he joked and said, ‘(Lee) Woo-sung, if you’re going to surprise bunt, you definitely need to do it.’ I felt very sorry, but when you said that, I felt at ease and felt better. He’s someone who doesn’t talk much, but he joked. I felt at ease when he spoke to me. (The second at-bat) Anyway, the bases were loaded with no outs, and the next at-bat was Dae-in (Hwang). Dae-in saw the ball well these days and thought he was not in bad shape, so I thought he was striking out. “I swung boldly,” he said.
He continued, “From the power analysis, I analyzed that (Brandon) threw a lot toward the body. To be honest, the pitcher (Brandon) threw it very well there. I thought I was really lucky. The moment the ball came up, I thought, ‘Outfield fly.’ “I’m glad I scored 1 point,” he said while running. “I think (the grand slam) was heaven’s help,” he added.
The face that came to mind as soon as I received the grand slam home run commemorative ball, which I will remember even in my 11-year professional career, was KIA hitting coach Beom-ho Lee. Coach Lee is a legend who hit a total of 329 home runs while playing in the KBO League from 2000 to 2019. He started his professional career with the Hanwha Eagles and played for KIA from 2011 to 2019.
Lee Woo-sung, whose hometown is Daejeon, has watched Coach Lee play since he was young and considered him his idol. There are many times when it is hard to believe that he is still a player and coach on the same team. Since it is the most valuable commemorative ball in Lee Woo-sung’s baseball life, we asked Coach Lee to write a commemorative message. Lee Woo-sung also inherited Coach Lee’s number 25 uniform ahead of the 2022 season.
Lee Woo-sung smiled as he replied, “I asked Coach Beom-ho Lee to write a letter (on the monument) because it was my first grand slam home run. Coach wrote it exactly as expected, without any other comments.”
He continued, “I played baseball while watching coach (Lee) Beom-ho since I was young and was in Daejeon. I met that person because I had a connection with him. I also wanted to wear coach’s number and hit a lot, so I wore that number (number 25)메이저놀이터. The coach said, He added, “Because he hit a lot of grand slam home runs, I asked him to write it down.”
Although the grand slam was a happy home run, Woo-sung Lee was hit on the back of his left thigh by a ball thrown by Doosan pitcher Myung-shin Kim while at bat in the bottom of the 8th inning. Immediately after being hit, he tried to run despite the pain, but in the end, he was replaced by pinch runner Oh Seon-woo during Hwang Dae-in’s next at-bat.
KIA coach Kim Jong-guk expressed concern regarding Lee Woo-sung’s physical condition on the 16th, saying, “I don’t think it will be easy for him to play for the next 2-3 days. It seemed like he got hit hard.”
Lee Woo-sung said, “I was hit on the hamstring side, but it hit an area that doesn’t have a lot of muscle. It’s a situation where I get cramps when I run,” but he joked and said, “I’m younger than I look on my face, so I guess I’ll get better day by day,” and laughed.
Kim Myung-shin repeatedly expressed his regret as he had been close with Lee Woo-sung since his Doosan days. Lee Woo-seong said, “(Kim) Myeong-shin and I have been good friends since we were in Doosan. We are still in good contact with him. Myeong-shin also kept saying sorry yesterday (the 15th), but since it is a competitive world anyway, I said everything was okay. Today.” “I got a call in the morning and asked if I was okay, and I said I was. My brother also said that he hoped I would do well until the end,” he said, adding that the Sagu situation ended well.
Woo-sung Lee did not get excited about hitting a grand slam and set his goal to play healthy until the end of the season. Only then will he be able to contribute to the team’s fight for the top five. Lee Woo-sung is currently taking the field day after day, not caring about his individual performance and only looking at the team performance.
Lee Woo-sung said, “After getting hit by the ball, I thought once again that it’s really important not to get hurt. Now I’m really thinking about just taking it easy without having any personal goals. I’m a person who thinks a lot, so I deleted my personal goals and felt much more at ease and good about them.” “There is nothing right now. The team must win to be treated well, and the team’s performance must be good for many fans to visit the baseball stadium. I will only think about the team’s victory,” he said.