The best of the best, the history of consistency

SSG’s Choi Jang-jeong, 36, became the first right-handed hitter to reach the 450-homer plateau. Like a “fixer,” he made history with a single shot that saved his team from a crisis.

Choi started as the No. 4 hitter and third baseman against the Incheon NC on Sept. 9, and in the bottom of the fourth inning, when the score was tied 1-1, he took a four-pitch changeup from opposing starter Choi Sung-young and hit the game-winning solo shot over the left-center field fence. It was SSG’s 21st home run of the season, its first in 11 games since Samsung Electronics on March 27. SSG, which had suffered back-to-back “Youngbong losses” in its previous two games, beat NC 2-1 with Choi’s single to escape the losing streak.바카라

With this home run, Choi etched his name into the history books of the league. Only Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop has ever hit more than 450 home runs in the Korean Baseball Organization, which began in 1982. Lee still holds the record with 467 career home runs.

Choi is only the second player in history to reach 450 home runs, and aside from Lee, who is a left-handed hitter, Choi is the first right-handed hitter. “I am proud to be the first right-handed hitter to reach 450 home runs in the short history of Korean baseball,” Choi said.

Synonymous with consistency, Choi has broken several home run records this year. After joining SK (formerly SSG) in the first round of the 2005 KBO Draft, Choi hit double-digit home runs in 18 consecutive seasons, starting with 12 in 2006, his second year as a professional. Since 2016, he has had eight consecutive 20-homer seasons.

As one of the best sluggers in the KBO, double-digit home runs are always a goal for Choi at the beginning of the season. After hitting 10 homers in a season, he considers it a “bonus. Whenever he is interviewed after breaking a personal record, such as a home run, he remains humble, saying, “I’ve played a lot of games since I was a kid.”

Choi is now eyeing the league’s all-time home run title. With his 450th home run, Choi is 17 shy of Lee’s 467, and he’s on pace to break the record as early as next season. If Choi adds 50 more home runs before he retires from active play, he will reach the 500-homer plateau, a milestone that no other player in baseball history has reached.