Bae Ji-hwan, “as if dreaming”… Daepo Choi for two days in a row, “It’s mine in the spotlight”

Pittsburgh Pirates ‘Korean duo’ Bae Ji-hwan and Choi Ji-man drew a lot of attention even after the game. In the witty interview of the senior, the junior emphasized the ‘experience of seniors’.

In the 2023 Major League (MLB) home game against Houston held at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA on the 12th, Pittsburgh won a thrilling 7-4 victory with two Korean players blasting their cannons.

The first player to open fire was Choi Ji-man. In the bottom of the 1st inning, he finished his warm-up with a double that hit the right wall directly, and in the bottom of the 6th, he even hit a superior solo shot. It was a home run for two days in a row and the first multi-hit game this season.

Bae Ji-hwan, who was in charge of the ‘lead-off’ mission, became the main character of the game that day. In the bottom of the 9th inning, where the score was tight 4-4, the game ended with a 3-run shot over the right fence against Ryan Presley with 1 out and 1st and 2nd base.

Bae Ji-hwan, who decorated his second home run this season as his first finish in his big league debut, celebrated the victory with a ‘slam dunk ceremony’. As he came into home plate, he grabbed his helmet like a basketball and ran through his teammates. 스포츠토토, the official homepage of the Major League Baseball, highlighted their performance, saying, “Bae Ji-hwan and Choi Ji-man became the first Korean teammates to hit a home run in the same game in the history of the big leagues.”

In an interview after the game, Bae Ji-hwan expressed his feelings in Korean, saying, “It seems like I’m dreaming. I wanted to finish because I couldn’t hit in the front at-bat.”

Then, in English, he said, “I grew up watching senior Kang Jeong-ho, who played in Pittsburgh. (At the time) Andrew McCutchen was also playing, and he hit a home run and did a ‘slam dunk ceremony’. I didn’t know I was going to do that, but I did it today.”

Bae Ji-hwan did not forget to thank his teammates, including Choi Ji-man, saying, “When the pressure gets worse, my concentration increases. It was made with the energy of my juniors and the experience of my seniors.”

Choi Ji-man started the interview with a light joke, saying, “I feel bad because I am not in the spotlight. Bae Ji-hwan took away the (spotlight).”

Then, he congratulated his junior, “I’m happy that Bae Ji-hwan hit the walk-off home run. I knew he would play this role for the team.” At the same time, he expressed satisfaction with himself, saying, “I feel good because the opportunity to participate has increased.”

The two made their home stadium ‘Korea’ by taking commemorative photos together in the locker room.

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