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Pitcher Ryu Hits 1st Pro Homer in in Home Run Derby

Posted July. 26, 2010 12:16,   


The Korean baseball league`s best pitcher hit the first home run of his pro career Saturday over All-Star Game weekend in Daegu.

Ryu Hyun-jin of the Hanwha Eagles made his first at-bat since his league debut in 2006. In the home run derby with seven outs allowed, he stood at the right side of the batter’s box and hit a homerun though he pitches with his left hand, a rarity in Korea.

Bong Jung-geun, the right-handed ace pitcher of the LG Twins, also hit a homer, saying, “I want to beat Hyun-jin even in batting only.” Both pitchers lost in the home run derby to Kim Hyun-soo, who hit a derby record 10 homers, but were all smiles nevertheless.

The All-Star Game is a festival of star players. If the stars do not shine, they are not stars, and if the event is not fun, then it is not a festival.

Another event showing that the All-Star Game is a feast of stars was the presentation of the “(Samsung) Lions’ Legendary All Stars.” Fans cheered for the 10 former All-Stars for Samsung over the 29-year history of the team being honored.

The mood peaked when Lee Man-soo, now the manager of the SK Wyverns’ minor league team, was named best catcher. Kim Shi-jin, an assistant coach for the Nexen Heroes, was selected best pitcher and threw out the first ball to Lee.

The All-Star Game saw a number of records set in the Eastern League`s 9-8 come-from-behind win. Hong Sung-heun, the game`s leading vote getter, and Gustavo Karim Garcia of the Lotte Giants both hit successive homers in the first inning, a feat achieved just four times before.

Hong, Garcia and Yang Joon-hyuk (Samsung) also hit successive homers in the seventh, an All-Star Game record. Yang also became the oldest player to hit a homer (41 years, 1 month and 28 days).

For the second time in the game’s history, the game-winning RBI came in the ninth inning, this time from Hwang Jae-gyun (Lotte).

A walk was recorded in the ninth inning in another first for the All-Star Game, as the contest proved as competitive as a regular-season game.

Hong was named MVP by going 4-5 at the plate with two homers and three RBIs. “Players enjoy the All-Star Game as a festival more than before, and they’re doing their best to win as well. This event has become a true baseball festival.”

Sudden rain that started two and a half hours before the game caused fears over the game being rained out.