The Samsung Lions and KIA Tigers presented gifts to their players in their first meeting after the trade.
The Samsung-KIA game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League, scheduled to be held at Gwangju Kia Champions Field on Nov. 11, was canceled at 4:30 p.m. due to heavy rain from the morning. The sixth game of the season between Samsung and KIA will be organized at a later date.
The two teams were expected to meet for the first time after a one-for-one trade on May 5, but the matchup was postponed by a day. The batting match between infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk, who wears a Samsung jersey, and catcher Kim Tae-gun, who wears a KIA jersey, was also postponed.
KIA and Samsung executed a one-for-one trade on May 5. KIA sent infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk to Samsung in exchange for catcher Kim Tae-gun. KIA received the catcher, which was considered the weakest part of the team, and Samsung received the veteran infield, which was lacking.
KIA manager Kim Jong-guk told reporters on the 11th, “Since I have a lot of experience as a catcher, I think the pitchers trust my experience and feel comfortable throwing with the lead. The other catchers had good qualities but lacked experience, so they seem to be more relaxed. Especially the young pitchers seem to be relying on their experience. Overall, the number of strikeouts has decreased a lot and it’s becoming more stable,” said catcher Kim Tae-gun.
“Han Jun-soo talks a lot when we train together. He talked about his experience and things to prepare. I think he needs to learn a lot of know-how from the first team, like how to play the game. He can watch from the outside, but he can learn a lot by talking to him and bumping into him.” Kim added.
The KIA players welcomed Ryu to Champions Field for the first time as an ‘away player’ and presented him with a jersey signed by the entire squad and a bouquet of flowers. Ryu visited the now-familiar Champions Field home locker room to say hello to the KIA players. “It’s going to be weird playing against him because he’s a player I’ve gotten to know a lot,” Kim Jong-guk said ahead of the matchup.
Samsung head coach Park Jin-man also expressed his satisfaction with infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk. “It’s been a few days, but one of the things we’ve always lacked is being able to score runs in our chances, and Ryu Ji-hyuk seems to have a point of solving those chances,” Park said.
“Even if it’s not a hit, he has the ability to make something like a sacrifice fly. We lacked that in our batting lineup, but Ryu Ji-hyeok can easily get hits up the middle and bring the flow. He has the ability to make up for any deficiencies on defense. He has the ability to be a clutch hitter, so I’m looking forward to seeing him when it counts.”먹튀검증
Samsung also came to Gwangju with a picture frame from Daegu. It features a photo of Kim Tae-gun at Samsung and the words, “I was happy and grateful to be with you, and I will always support you.” Koo Ja-rook handed it over to Kim Tae-gun and shared his farewell sentiments.