SSG Landers Choi Jung (37) is set to break Doosan Bears coach Lee Seung-yeop’s record for most home runs ever.
Choi Jeong said in an interview after the ‘2024 SSG Landers Fan Festival’ held at Songdo Convensia in Incheon on the 21st, “I hope I can achieve the record early. I’m worried that it won’t work out if I’m concerned about the record.”
Choi Jeong-eun, who joined the SK Wyverns (currently SSG) as the first candidate in the 2005 rookie draft, is one of the home run hitters representing Korea. She became the home run king in 2016 (40 home runs), 2017 (46 home runs) and 2021 (35 home runs). Her overall record was .287 (2,133 hits in 7,424 at-bats) in 2,164 games with 458 homers and 1,454 RBIs and an OPS.918. Now 37, she is a veteran, but she showed off her robust performance last year by recording a batting average of .297 (140 hits in 471 at-bats) with 29 homers and 87 RBIs in 128 games, as well as OPS.936. She ranked second in homers and seventh in RBIs.
Choi Jeong-eun, who has recorded 458 homers in her career, has only nine homers to reach the 467 homers set by Coach Lee Seung-yeop as an active player. If she records nine homers, she will set a tie record, and if she records 10 homers, she will set a new record. Choi also feels a lot of pressure as he is set to set a milestone.
Choi Jeong-eun, who recalled her first double-digit home run challenge since her debut in 2006, said, “Even when I hit the youngest double-digit home run in 2006, I didn’t see it moving from my 9th home run to my 10th home run. As far as I remember, a home run suddenly came out, but as if something was caught, it didn’t come out. I aim for a double-digit home run every year, but I am worried that the record that will come out if I just hit the same season will not go well.” She added, “If you fail to hit 10 home runs, you will have an accident. Personally, it will be a season that has been ruined. From my point of view, I am worried and burdened that it will be really hard to hit 10 home runs.”
“That’s an incredible record,” Choi Jung-eun said, admiring Lee’s home run record, “It’s a great honor for my name to be elevated to the rank of Lee Seung-yeop. I have nine and 10 home runs left, but I don’t know. I think that line will be very difficult.”
Choi Jung-eun is a batter who can hit more than 10 home runs in a month at maximum. She also hit 11 home runs in June last year alone. “If I say I can break the record if I have to hit 25 home runs, I don’t think it bothers me that much,” Choi said with a smile. “Ten home runs is the number I’ve always aimed for. Of all times, I’m stuck with just 10 home runs. I’m worried because it’s a record that I have to achieve early in the season, but I’m trying my best to do it without burden.”
Choi Jeong, who has kept the record of winning the most Golden Glove awards in third base history with eight Golden Gloves, failed to win the Golden Glove for the third consecutive year, losing to Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha), who won the home run king and the RBI king last year. Choi Jeong and Noh Si-hwan, who competed with Noh throughout the season and praised each other, continued their praise relay even after winning the Golden Glove.
In an interview after receiving the Golden Glove award, Noh Si-hwan said, “You received so many Golden Gloves. Choi Jung is a role model and competitor. Because you were a competitor to me, I was able to follow you and come all the way here. I want to say thank you. Now, it’s my first Golden Glove, but starting with this award, I’ll do my best to get the most Golden Gloves from the third baseman. Eight is a very difficult record, but I’ll try to fill it once so that I can fill it in.” He expressed his strong ambition to challenge Choi Jeong’s record. 마카오토토도메인
“I think (No) Si-hwan was polite because I said it first. I was watching the Golden Glove Awards on TV and he told me his story. I personally want to not fall behind and compete until the end this year,” Choi said, declaring that he would not easily lose to his confident junior teammates. Regarding Eric Peddy (White Sox), who mentioned Choi Jeong along with Noh Si-hwan, he added, “I felt good when Peddy said my name. I don’t remember playing that well, but I guess Peddy was memorable. I’m glad that a Major League player remembers me.”