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Chicago Cubs’ Choi on Path to New Records

Posted May. 06, 2003 22:13,   


Chicago Cubs Hee Seop Choi recomposed his "home run" instinct, and heralded in a best rookie award for the team.

Put in the lineup as 1B fifth hitter for a home game against the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday (KST), he hit a one-out home run for the Cubs in the second, which flew 117m into right centerfield.

It was his season sixth homer. Choi last homered against the Colorado Rockies on April 27. Choi is now tied with Sosa in season home run race. He also leads the National League with the most home runs as a rookie.

He was struck out in the fourth, and popped out in the seventh.

In the eighth for the Brewers, Erik Karros substituted for Choi. Yesterday, Choi recorded one for three, pulling up his average to 0.265. In total, Choi has made 17 RBIs. Despite Choi`s homer, the Cubs lost to the Brewers 3-5.

Into the 25th game this season, Choi is starting to see his "Cubs rookie" records just around the corner. With unstoppable momentum, he is expected to hit 26 home runs by the end of the season. Previously, Cubs Billy Williams hit 25 home runs in 1961.

He also has made twelve "long-range" hits including doubles, triples and home runs. Choi is expected to reach the 57 RBIs this season. The highest record for a Cubs player is 52.

Choi has earned 21 walks so far. If Choi continues the trend, he could possibly earn up to 110, the highest in the National League. 100 is the highest number of walks earned by a National League player, while 92 is the golden number for a Cubs player.

The problem is that Choi has to take turns with Karros in the lineup, depending on opponent pitchers. So far, for example, the Cubs took 31 games, but Choi played 25 of them. He knows that maintaining top form is the key to his setting new records this season.

Chang Jeon jeon@donga.com