“I always believe that we have the power to reach first place.”
Kim Do-young (20), the present and future of the KIA Tigers, recalled a 10-year-old club record, and his eyes sparkled as he looked higher. KIA won 7-1 against the Doosan Bears in Jamsil on the 6th, recording a 9-game winning streak. It was the result of waiting for a whopping 10 years and 3 months, or more precisely, 3730 days. KIA has not surpassed this record for 10 years since achieving its last 9 consecutive wins from the Mokdong Nexen Heroes (now Kiwoom) game on June 8, 2013 to the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles game on June 20.스포츠토토
2013, when KIA was on a 9-game winning streak. Kim Do-young was a 10-year-old kid. At the time, Doyoung Kim was in the 4th grade of elementary school, and it was time for him to have fun learning baseball. I’ve never really watched a professional baseball game, so I don’t remember KIA winning 9 games in a row in 2013.
Kim Do-young recalled 10 years ago, saying, “Honestly, I didn’t like baseball that much at the time. I started playing baseball when I was in the 4th grade of elementary school, but I didn’t watch much professional baseball at that time. I think I started watching it when I was in middle school and high school.”
He was a boy who didn’t really like baseball, but 10 years later, he grew up to be a key player in KIA’s 9 consecutive wins. Kim Do-young started as the second batter and third baseman on this day, and played well with 2 hits (1 home run) and 2 RBI in 5 at-bats. Kim Do-young hit a two-run shot that brought down Doosan starting pitcher Kwak Bin in the top of the 4th inning, leading 3-0.
It was not Kwak Bin’s missed throw, but Kim Do-young’s home run. This means that the feeling of hitting has been hot recently. With the ball count of 1-1, Kim Do-young caught a 145 per hour fastball that came high toward his body and went over the wall to his left. It was a large two-run gun with a range of 130m.
Kim Do-young said, “(Kwak Bin) seemed to keep using his body on me. In both the first and second at-bats, senior Yang Eui-ji (Doosan catcher) seemed to be paying attention to using his body, so I was aiming for it, and the timing was just right. “I think so,” he said, looking back on the home run situation.
He continued, “I think I hit it the best. I think I hit it well because I thought the ball would come (toward my body) at the plate. I was confident it was a home run. I hit it completely. Normally, the ball would have curved, but since it went straight, I had a feeling it was a home run. “he added.
Regarding leading the team to 9 consecutive wins, he smiled brightly as he answered, “It is truly an honor. As a KIA fan, I am also honored to be able to win 9 games in a row for the first time in 10 years. I feel good these days because I feel like I went out and helped.”
Kim Do-young graduated from Gwangju Dongseong High School and received a lot of attention as he was called a super rookie ever since he joined KIA as a first-round pick in 2022. He has been known since his high school days as a shortstop with quick feet and contact skills, and has been evaluated as having a similar style to Lee Jong-beom (current LG Twins coach), the ‘Son of the Wind’.
Last year, when he was a rookie, he actually spent his time adjusting to the KBO league. He had a batting average of .237 (53-for-224), 3 home runs, 19 RBI, and 13 stolen bases in 103 games. It is true that his performance was not enough to expect Rookie of the Year, but he played consistently in the first team for a year and showed his potential on the professional stage, showing him how to survive.
Kim Do-young, who has grown to the next level, is proving this year why he pushed aside Moon Dong-ju (20, Hanwha Eagles) and was selected by KIA last year. He missed most of the first half of the season due to a fractured metatarsal bone in his left foot, but is coming back in full swing. He recorded a batting average of 0.310 (62 hits in 200 at-bats), 4 home runs, 27 RBI, and 15 stolen bases in 49 games this season, making a great addition to KIA’s final 5th place competition.
While KIA was on a 9-game winning streak, Kim Do-young’s hitting became even hotter. He has a batting average of 0.371 (13 hits in 35 at-bats), 2 home runs, and 7 RBIs, leading the batting lineup along with Choi Hyung-woo and Na Seong-beom. During this period, KIA is devastating the opponent’s mound, recording a team batting average of 0.336.
Regarding his recent feeling of hitting, Kim Do-young said, “I think the cycle has improved,” and “I think I shortened the slump period by talking with the power analysis coach and hitting coaches when I was having a bad day.”
At the same time, he emphasized that the pain of last year became the foundation for this year. Kim Do-young said, “I think around this time last year, I had adapted a little (to the pro game). This year, my records were different. By the end of the first half, I think I had established a lot of what to do at the plate. I haven’t experienced it all yet, but I experienced it last year. “I think baseball is doing a little better this year because I thought I saw it,” he answered honestly.
As of the 7th, KIA is in 5th place with 57 wins, 50 losses, and 2 draws. They maintain a 0.5 game gap with the 4th place NC Dinos, and have dropped the 6th place Doosan Bears by 4 games. The KIA team, which has gained momentum with 9 consecutive wins, is trying to look upward as it is about to give up. Although it is far from the leading LG Twins by 8.5 games, it is not impossible considering the miracle of Doosan, which broke the 100% regular season first place probability of SK Wyverns (now SSG Landers) in 2019 and won the overall championship. Na Seong-beom asked, “Aren’t we playing baseball to get first place?” and said that the players will keep their eyes on the top and keep running.
Doyoung Kim’s thoughts are the same. He said, “I just want to go up to the top. I always believe that we have the power to go up to first place. I want to go up to the top. I’m also curious to see how far we will go,” and said, “We will do our best to win as many games as possible in the remaining 35 games of the season.” I pledged to do my best to make it happen.
KIA is now challenging its 10th consecutive win. The last 10 consecutive wins were recorded in 2009 when the team won the overall championship. It was a historic season in which they won their first championship after the parent company changed from Haitai to KIA. KIA had a 10-game winning streak from the game against the Sajik Lotte Giants on July 30th of that year to the game against the Gwangju Lotte Giants on August 12th. Will KIA be able to achieve its 10th consecutive win against Doosan in Jamsil on the 7th and receive good energy from 2009 to run further with its sights on the top like Kim Do-young’s wish?