1982 The original MVP was also thrilling → Chae Eun-sung, who became a ‘star among stars’, dominated the battlefield

Hanwha’s signature hitter, Chae Eun-sung, 33, was on hand for the bat flip, or “paddle throw,” as it’s called, and the 1982 MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the inaugural Korean Professional Baseball League was also thrilled. It was thrilling to see him dominate the field after 41 years by hitting a grand slam in the All-Star Game, becoming Mr. All-Star and winning the home run race.

Chae Eun-sung started at first base as the No. 3 hitter for the Nanum All-Stars in the 2023 KBO League All-Star Game at Sajik Stadium in Busan on Friday, going 2-for-3 with a grand slam, two runs scored and five RBIs to lead the team to an 8-4 victory. With her five-hit game, Chae also tied the record for most RBIs in an All-Star game.

The highlight of her day came in the bottom of the fourth inning, when she came up to bat with the bases loaded and two outs and launched a walk-off home run over the left field fence. It was the second no-hitter in 41 years after Kim Yong-hee (Lotte, Dong-gun) hit a no-hitter at Dongdaemun Baseball Stadium during the 1982 All-Star Game, the inaugural year of professional baseball.안전놀이터

Kim Yong-hee, the man behind the first All-Star Game no-hitter, was also thrilled. Kim attended the All-Star Game to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in his capacity as Lotte’s Mr. All-Star and witnessed history in the making. “It was so exciting,” he told Sports Seoul. I thought it would be nice to hit one because it was the last out, but it came out just right, so I feel so good,” he chuckled.

The grand slam earned Chae Eun-sung the coveted Mr. All-Star award. It was a double whammy. After winning the Home Run Race the day before, Chae won Mr. All-Star, becoming the first player to win both.

After the game, Chae said, “I felt the same way yesterday (when I won the home run race), but I was nervous. “A grand slam home run is a home run, but I thought Socrates was going to win Mr. All-Star. It’s hard enough to come to the All-Star Game once a year, but being Mr. All-Star means more to me.”

He smiled disarmingly as he said that he felt like he was carrying over the momentum from winning the home run race the day before. In fact, she wasn’t even aiming for a home run.

Chae Eun-sung said, “I didn’t know how many All-Star home runs there were. It was a perfect game, but I didn’t get greedy. In fact, I didn’t aim for it. I thought, ‘I have to hit a fastball,’ and I think it went over well.” “I don’t think it was affected by the home run race the day before. It helped that I was trying to get my hitting point in front, and (Yoo) Gangnam-i’s batting ball was so good that it helped me adjust my hitting point.”

The All-Star Game is held once a year. For the players, it’s an honor and a thrill to be chosen by the fans to play with the stars. He also tried to enjoy it with the fans. That’s why, after the fifth inning, he mimicked the performance of the ROK Navy’s Jinhae Base Command Chairman’s Corps to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the June 25 Armistice. In fact, Chae Eun-sung is an alumnus of the Army’s drill team.

“First and foremost, I came to the All-Star Game with the idea of playing with the fans,” he said, adding, “Once I got out there, I could spin the bat with my eyes closed, like riding a bike. Watching the soldiers do it brought back memories. I never thought I would have a day like today,” he said. “I had mixed feelings. It made me feel grateful for the present,” she added.

Chae Eun-sung won a total of 15 million won in prize money, including 5 million won for winning the Home Run Race the day before and 10 million won for Mr. All-Star. “I didn’t think I would get (15 million won) at all. I agreed with (Yoo) Gangnam to split the 5 million won yesterday 6-4. We were talking over dinner last night and he said that 5-5 was too much for his conscience,” he said. “So he said, ‘Let’s make it 6-4,’ and it just so happened that his birthday is on July 15. I don’t know if I’ll win the prize money today, so I don’t have any plans yet.”

In conclusion, Chae Eun-sung said, “Our Hanwha players are in a great mood and have overcome many tight games. I think we can take the good momentum and start the second half in a good mood,” she said.


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