NC’s huge harvest, the birth of ‘Masan Kim Ha-seong’.
NC Dinos’ fall baseball momentum is unusual. In fact, they lost all of the last two games of the regular season against the KIA Tigers and finished in 4th place instead of 3rd place. I heard that the team atmosphere had dropped to the bottom. To make matters worse, Ace Peddie was hit by a batted ball while pitching against KIA and was unable to appear in the wild card game. Many experts predicted an ‘upset’ in the 5th place Doosan Bears’ first-ever wild card game.
However, NC survived with a 14-9 win in the first game against Doosan. At the center was Seo Ho-cheol. We were dragged out after conceding a goal to our opponent in the early stages. It was around the time when people started saying that the team was ruined because of the KIA game. Seo Ho-cheol’s bat spun like lightning, and a grand slam came from behind. With this one shot, the atmosphere in NC began to burn.
Seo Ho-cheol became a ‘national star’ with this one game. His bat did not cool off even in the semi-playoffs against SSG. He had a batting average of .400 with 4 hits and 3 RBIs in 10 at-bats in 3 games. The highlight was hitting a timely hit in the top of the 9th inning of the important first game. Game 3 on the 25th was also a multi-hit.
The playoffs against KT Wiz are approaching, and we are now more excited to see how Seo Ho-cheol will perform than the team’s signature players, Son Ah-seop, Park Min-woo, and Park Geon-woo. He is full of confidence and is showing solid performance.
Seo Ho-cheol is a player with a long plastic surgery schedule. He graduated from Dong-eui University and was selected in the second 9th round of the 2019 rookie draft. However, due to team circumstances, he was converted to a training player. He became a full-time player in 2020. And he enlisted in Sangmu, and his military service at Sangmu became an opportunity for a reversal. He received attention by becoming the batting leader in the Southern League of the Futures League in the 2021 season.
He received great expectations for his return in the 2022 season. At the time, NC was missing Park Min-woo and Park Seok-min due to the COVID-19 drinking scandal. At the time, manager Lee Dong-wook placed Seo Ho-cheol on second base until Park Min-woo arrived and gave him a chance. However, Seo Ho-cheol was under so much pressure that he was unable to take advantage of the opportunity. Looking back on that time, he confessed, “I was included in the lineup every day, and I was confused as to whether I could play in the game.” Technological changes made to do well also had a negative impact.굿모닝토토
The 2022 season is a failure. However, joining Geelong Korea after the season was a ‘act of God.’ There, I got a feel for his better days and perfected how to incorporate them through his first-team experience. In this way, he succeeded in rebounding by hitting 114 hits in the 2023 season. And he showed that he had completely opened his eyes to baseball in the fall baseball season.
It is said that players who get a feel for big games like this will immediately improve their baseball skills. Since he has received the attention of coach Kang In-kwon, he is expected to perform even better next year based on his experience playing baseball this fall.
Park Min-woo is guarding second base, so he mainly played at third base this season. But the defense at second base is not bad either. He also has experience playing first base and shortstop positions. It is truly an infield multiplayer. Here, the hustle play shown in every game reminds me of Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres of the U.S. Major League Baseball. Looking at his bat, which has become sharper this fall, it would not be an exaggeration to call him ‘Masan Kim Ha-seong’.