He probably couldn’t have hit like this at 28. The 38-year-old veteran shortstop Kim Jae-ho has been rejuvenating at a time when he could have retired, leading Doosan to a top-five finish. The juniors in the Doosan infield are not surprised, saying, “It’s because he’s a senior.
Kim Jae-ho started at second base in the 10th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against Samsung at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Aug. 8 and went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs to help his team to a late-game comeback victory.
After warming up with a fielder’s choice in the first inning and a grounder to shortstop in the fourth, Kim hit a game-winning two-run shot with one out in the fifth inning with the score tied 2-2. Facing a 1B-1S count, he took a curveball (121km) from Samsung starter Kim Dae-woo up the middle and lined it just over the left field fence. It was his third home run of the season, nine games after the Aug. 24 game against Gochuk Kiwoom.
Kim Jae-ho’s bat didn’t stop. Trailing 5-7 in the eighth inning, he came up with runners on first and second off Samsung veteran pitcher Woo Kyu-min and lined a two-run double to give Samsung a one-run lead. It was an invaluable hit that set the stage for a come-from-behind win in the bottom of the ninth.
After the game, Kim Jae-ho said, “It was a really tough game, but I’m glad we won. The younger players did their part at the end and we were able to win,” said Kim. “For the home run, I saw two fastballs and expected a changeup. I swung the bat confidently, and I think it went over because the timing was right.”
Kim Jae-ho, like the genius shortstop he is, also made some savvy plays on defense to keep the runs at bay. In the seventh inning, trailing 5-6, he made a leaping catch of Lee Jae-hyun’s grounder to second and third base, and then quickly picked off the runner at third base, Kang Kang-ul, who was rushing home.
Kim Jae-ho said, “I was in a forward-fielding situation, and the ball had a lot of bounce. I threw it hard with the idea of throwing it half a beat faster, and the catcher (Jang) Seung-hyun handled it well,” he said modestly.
Kim Jae-ho is 38 years old this year. Born in 1985, he is now in his 20th year of professional baseball, having been selected by Doosan in the first round of the 2004 rookie draft.
But for him, age is just a number. In 68 games, he has a rejuvenated bat with a .886 OPS with three doubles, three home runs, 22 RBIs, and 26 runs scored. It’s September, a month when even young players experience a physical overload, but he’s hit 4-for-9 in his last 10 games and has even hit for the long ball, hitting three home runs for the first time in four years since 2019 (four).
Doosan’s younger infielders have taken Kim’s aging with a grain of salt, already expecting him to play baseball well into his 38th year because he’s such a natural shortstop.메이저사이트
“We always knew (Kim) Jae-ho was a good baseball player,” said Park Kye-beom, who induced the third baseman’s game-ending error on the eighth. In a way, it’s natural that he’s doing so well now. I’m not surprised because I think he’ll always be good as long as he keeps playing,” Park said.
Kim Jae-ho credited the Doosan fans for the 38-year-old’s career-high. “We were able to win because a lot of fans came out for the Let’s Roar Series and supported us until the end,” he said. We will focus on tomorrow’s doubleheader and bring home a win.”