San Diego Padres’ Kim Ha-seong (28) has set the record for the most stolen bases in a single season by a Korean player in Major League Baseball history. The feat is a testament to Kim’s durability and grit, as he’s battled through a number of injuries.
On Friday (May 5) at Petco Park in San Diego, California (USA), Kim batted first and second in the lineup against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2023 Major League Baseball World Series, going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base.
After leading off the first inning with a single to right off Dodgers starter Bobby Miller, Kim stole second base when Juan Soto grounded out to third. It was his 23rd stolen base of the season, surpassing the previous record of 22 set by Choo Shin-soo (SSG Rangers) in 2010 with the Cleveland Indians (now the Guardians) and becoming the most stolen bases in a season by a Korean major leaguer.
Kim didn’t stop there. In the third inning, after reaching first base on a single to left, Kim stole second again when Soto came to bat. It was his 24th stolen base of the season, but it came with a twist. Dodgers catcher Will Smith’s throw to second base deflected sideways and hit Kim directly in the left side of his head-first slide.
Despite the pain, Kim scrambled back to his feet after the slide and made a follow-up play for third base after the ball bounced sideways. Dodgers shortstop Ahmed Rosario quickly scooped up the ball, and Kim went back to second base. He held his left side and grimaced in pain. But like Kim, there was no substitution. He took a moment to catch his breath and continued to play at second base. He continued to play until the ninth inning.
Kim, whose trademark is his helmet coming off whenever he sprinted, is a hustle player who doesn’t take any chances, but he’s also incredibly resilient. He’s had three injuries this season, but has bounced back quickly. On May 26 against the Washington Nationals, he went down after being hit in the left knee by his own foul ball, but missed only one game, and on June 8 against the New York Mets, he injured his right big toe by kicking a dugout bucket after running the bases, but also returned after only one game.토토사이트
Against the Texas Rangers on March 31, Kim injured his right shoulder when he collided with the opposing catcher while sliding into home plate in the third inning, but he was resilient enough to start the next day’s game as a designated hitter. Kim said, “There is not a single player who is 100 percent healthy. If you’re fit to play, you have to play every day,” Kim said.
Despite the physical demands of stealing bases and the high risk of injury, Kim is so passionate about the sport that he has stolen 24 bases. As a result, he represented San Diego in the Heart & Hustle Awards, which were voted on by the Major League Baseball Retired Players Association (MLBPAA) on April 4.
Kim’s 24 stolen bases are tied for 11th in the majors and tied for fifth in the National League (NL). He is mathematically on pace to steal 35 bases this year. With six stolen bases in 2021 and 12 last year, Kim’s previous career high was 33 in 2019 with the KBO’s Grow Heroes.
As he bats leadoff more often, his stolen base opportunities are increasing. In his last 20 games, including a 10-game hitting streak, Kim is batting 3-for-9 (29-for-74) with five home runs, 10 RBIs, 15 walks, eight strikeouts and a 5 percent walk rate. His season numbers are up to 105 games, batting .288 (100-for-349) with 15 homers, 41 RBIs, 53 walks, 81 strikeouts and an .840 OPS. He ranks eighth in the NL in batting average and 17th in OPS.