The base-stealing dude is on fire. LG Twins’ Park Hae-min has set a new goal.
Park Hae-min went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base in the LG Twins’ 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against the SSG Landers on Saturday at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. It was Park’s 20th stolen base of the season. He reached the 20-steal plateau for the 10th consecutive season.스포츠토토
This is the second-longest streak in KBO history. He joins Jung Geun-woo, who stole 20 bases in 11 consecutive seasons (2006-2016). Park stole his first stolen base on May 4, 2014, in the NC. He totaled 36 stolen bases that year, ranking fifth in the league. The rest is history.
He led the league in stolen bases for four consecutive seasons from 2015 to 2018. He boasted 60, 52, 40, and 36 steals in those four years. In 2019, he was tied for seventh with 24, in 2020 he was second with 34, in 2021 he was third with 36, and last year he was fifth with 24. Park’s name was never absent from the top 10.
After achieving the record, Park said, “Even if it wasn’t this time, I knew I would get one (stolen base) soon. I didn’t think I had to do it today,” Park said, “I always try to make the plays I can on the field. I think if I don’t steal bases, I might not be as competitive. I think I’ve been working hard and that’s why I’ve been able to get 20 steals for 10 years in a row.”
“It wasn’t a goal, but I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve been able to accumulate it. One more year and I can tie the record (for 11 straight years). Two more years and I could break the record,” he said, adding, “I’m greedy. As long as I don’t get injured, I believe I can do it,” he said.
He is also cautious. “You can’t just think about yourself when stealing bases. It might look selfish. You have to think about the team,” he said, adding, “I think if I play my baseball and utilize my strengths, the record will follow.” “Nowadays, I try to control myself rather than just run. As the number of stolen bases increased, the number of errors also increased,” he confessed, “I thought more in the dugout, so the number of errors decreased (from the previous year).”
There are positive trends. Starting this year, Major League Baseball (MLB) increased the size of bases from 15 inches (38.1 centimeters) to 18 inches (45.72 centimeters). Pitchers are limited to a maximum of two pitches per at-bat to hold runners back or take their feet off the plate. This made it easier for runners to steal bases. The KBO is going in the same direction. They’re considering increasing the size of the bases, which could be implemented next year. Add in the restriction on runners being held down, and the ‘dodos’ can fly.
“I think it will be fun,” Park said. “I think it will be fun,” says Park, “and not only me, but also the younger players will be able to utilize their own play. I think there will be players who will survive and take a place based on that advantage,” said Park. “Since it is a regulation related to speeding up, I expect that we will be able to reduce the playing time and present exciting baseball to the fans.”
In fact, there are records he’d like to achieve if the rules are in place. “There is only one person in the league who has won the stolen base title five times, Kim Il-kwon. I want to do it too,” he said, adding, “First of all, I want to do well this season and win the championship, and then challenge myself next year.” Kim Il-kwon, the “first stolen base king,” led the league in stolen bases from 1982-1984 and 1989-1990. He is the only player in league history to win the stolen base title five times.
If Park reaches 20 stolen bases next year, he will join Jung Geun-woo and Kim Il-kwon as the only players in the history of the league to win the stolen base title five times. He plans to play nonstop.