Dae-ho, how lonely you must have been…” Confessions of a 36-year-old hitter who has been a foster player and is finally at his best “Veteran is a very difficult position”

Your “big brother” of over a decade has left the team. Now, his ‘best friend’ junior is getting to know his older brother’s heart. Lotte Giants veteran Jeong Hoon (36) is now leading the juniors as a senior.

After the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against the Kiwoom Heroes at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on Friday, Jung-hoon said, “I watched old videos and reflected a lot. I worked very hard back then, but I feel like I lost my focus,” he said.

Jung-hoon has recently built a golden tower. Batting second and starting at first base in a home game against the Samsung Lions at Munsu Baseball Stadium in Ulsan on May 5, he lined a single up the middle off Woo Gyu-min with runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth inning with his team leading 6-3.

With the hit, Jung-hoon reached 1,000 career hits. He became the 116th player in KBO history and the ninth player to reach 1,000 hits with Lotte. The milestone came 13 years after his first-team debut in 2010 and 17 years after his professional debut in 2006.

Of course, Jung-hoon’s 1,000-hit milestone isn’t the only one to be immortalized in KBO history. Jung-hoon’s former teammates Lee Dae-ho (41-retired, 2199 hits) and Son As-seop (35-NC, 2387 hits) have already surpassed the 2,000-hit mark, and the team’s oldest player, Jeon Jun-woo (37), is ahead with 1,778 hits.

However, it’s not something that comes easily to Jung-hoon, given where he started his career. After graduating from Masan Yongmago, Jung-hoon joined the Hyundai Unicorns as a developmental player in 2006. However, he was released after just one year, and after completing his military service as an active duty soldier in the army and working as an elementary school leader, he donned a Lotte jersey ahead of the 2010 season. After gradually establishing himself in the first team, Jung-hoon began to produce in earnest in 2013, hitting 88 hits in 113 games. 바카라

He then took over the starting second base position and showed his talent at the plate, hitting 140 hits in 2014 and 146 in 2015. After spending the next few years as a backup, he bounced back with 121 hits in 2020 and 142 in 2021 after taking over the starting first base position. This season, he’s batting .266 with 37 hits in 63 games. He’s contributed to the team at the plate despite being shut down by a side injury.

“It was another year of learning in my baseball life,” Jung said of this season. “There were a lot of tough times in the beginning because the results didn’t go well, but I definitely learned something from it,” he said, “and I will use that as a foundation to play baseball as long as I can.”

This year has been a special one for Jung-hoon. Lee Dae-ho, who has been his rock, retired from baseball. Since joining Lotte in 2010, Jung-hoon has gotten to know Lee Dae-ho and has gotten a lot of help from him, including accompanying him to personal training and getting advice. The two are so close that they even meet up for meals on non-baseball days. At Lee’s retirement ceremony last year, Jung-hoon broke down in tears and lamented the loss of his close brother.

Now that Lee Dae-ho has retired, Jung-hoon is the oldest member of the team, along with Jeon Jun-woo, who is a year older. “I thought a lot about ‘how lonely (Lee) must have been,'” Jung-hoon said. “Because we’re professionals here, you have to have a certain level of performance to lead the juniors, and that’s why it’s a difficult position,” he confessed.

“On the one hand, I miss Daeho, who was so good for so long, and I want to see him again,” Jung Hoon said, “but on the other hand, I also think he’s great.” “Anyway, this year was another year I missed a lot,” he said with a wry smile.

Now that he’s a veteran, Jeong-hoon is letting his actions speak louder than his words. “You can see from the game that I’m a veteran, but I’m playing like I’m dying,” he said. “I’m sorry to show the fans this every year, but I want them to see how the players hit and run, not just the results.” He added, “I don’t know about the win/loss margin this year, but I’m just going to give it my all until the end of each game.” He expressed his intention to do his best until the end.

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