Son went 2-for-5 with a home run and a run batted in during a home game against the Doosan Bears at Changwon NC Park on April 14, starting at first base and playing right field. Thanks to his performance, the Bears pulled off a thrilling 5-4 come-from-behind victory.

It was no ordinary hit, as Son, who had 2,299 career hits up until that point, added two more to reach the 2,300-hit plateau. This is the third record in KBO history, after Yang Jun-hyuk of the Samsung Lions in 2010 and Park Yong-taek of the LG Twins in 2018.

It was an impressive feat for Son. After making his debut with the Lotte Giants in 2008, Son established himself as Lotte’s starting outfielder in 2010. From 2010 to 2018, he posted a triple-digit batting average in nine consecutive years, including two seasons with 190 hits and a batting average over .350. He also won the most hits title three times (2012-2013-2017).

There have been ups and downs. He entered his second free agency with a dip in power (three home runs in 2021) and was unable to agree to re-sign with his hometown team, Lotte. Instead, he moved to NC for a total of 6.4 메이저사이트 billion won over four years, but was embarrassed by a .277 batting average in his first year. It was clear that the “3% guarantee check” was no longer working for him.

The crisis didn’t last long. After correcting his batting form during spring training, Son struggled to start the season with a .208 batting average (as of April 16), but then he started to heat up and redeemed himself. In the 42 games after April 17, he batted a stellar .349 (61 for 175). His season batting average is now .316 (through 14 games), good for second in the league.

The value of his hits was also high. Both of his 14-day hits came at crucial times. His seventh-inning single tied the game, and his ninth-inning infield single as the leadoff hitter led to the game-winning run. For the season as a whole, it was a stellar performance. He has a 0.344 batting average with runners in scoring position and a 0.52 WPA (Wins Produced) (#1 on the team, according to Sports2Eye).

The first thing that came to mind for Son was the fans. He had played 15 seasons in Busan and two seasons in Changwon, where he was loved more than anyone else. “I remember the screams of the fans when I reached 2,300 hits. I think it was possible because of their support and encouragement,” he said.

Son’s career is still going strong. He is just 35 years, 2 months, and 27 days shy of 2,300 hits. He has at least two more years left in his career, and at least five more. At his current pace, he could reach the 2400-hit plateau before the end of this season. We could see him break the all-time hits record as early as the first half of next year.

Son’s hot streak continued in game 15. He went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs, and three runs scored, leading his team to a 10-3 victory. He added 2304 hits to his career total. After the game, Son said, “I didn’t feel good on the 14th, but I was lucky to get two hits. I think the team’s mood improved as we overcame a tough game, and I felt good, so I think I batted with a good balance today as well.”

“When I’m hitting well, I’m hitting a lot, and when I’m not hitting well, I’m not hitting at all. There are still ups and downs in my batting form,” he said, adding, “Some people have pointed out that I have an aging curve, but my body is still healthy. I still have faith in my abilities. I’m confident that I can do well not only this season but also for a few more years.”

With Son’s multi-hit game, NC reclaimed third place and stayed there with a 15-game victory. Along with Son, NC is also making waves.

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