The Hanwha Eagles’ new foreign hitter, Nick Williams, entered the game in the best possible team atmosphere.
Williams went 2-for-2 with a double and a run scored against the KT Wiz in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Daejeon Hanwha Life Eagles Park on Monday. Williams, who made his KBO debut the previous day (Nov. 27), contributed to his team’s victory with a multi-hit performance in just his second game. Hanwha has won six straight games for the first time in 1371 days since Sept. 26, 2019.
Trailing 0-4 in the bottom of the second inning, Williams led off with a single over the third baseman’s head and then raced to second base on a head-first slide. She then scored on Kim Tae-yeon’s RBI single with two outs. Two batters later in the bottom of the fifth inning, when the score was tied 4-4, she hit a double to center field.
Williams, who joined Changwon’s away training on the 24th, said at the time, “I’m an aggressive hitter. I will dive and slide even if my uniform gets dirty,” he said in his KBO entry form. Within two games, Williams showed his passion with a diving catch on the 27th and a head-first slide on the 28th.
The addition of Williams has had a positive effect on both the team and the player. Before the 28th game, Hanwha coach Choi Won-ho said, “It’s a good event to have a foreign player when the team is in a good mood. It created a synergistic effect,” he said.메이저놀이터
Williams on the run. ⓒHanwha Eagles
Third baseman Noh Si-hwan, who batted behind Williams as the No. 4 hitter, said in the final home run interview on the 28th, “I’m glad that Williams came and became a dynamite hitter and put more pressure on the opposing pitchers. He’s the type of player that fans can cheer for, hitting long balls and running the bases with passion, which is exactly what I wanted.”
Williams is also happy with the support from the fans who filled EagleSpark. “I love the Hanwha fans,” he said after the 28th game. I love the passionate energy. I will continue to play well,” he said after the game.
Williams, who arrived on the 22nd and joined the team on the 24th, is in the midst of a six-game winning streak that began on the 21st. Since his arrival, Hanwha hasn’t lost a game. For Williams, Hanwha is the best team in the KBO right now.
“I keep saying ‘WOW’ when I see the team play. We don’t deserve to be in the bottom half of the table right now. After seeing the tremendous energy and skill the players have shown in training, I can’t believe where we are right now. I hope I can be a lucky symbol for them to continue their winning streak.”
Hanwha actually took a long time to find a new foreign batsman. After claiming Brian O’Grady off waivers on March 31, the team was unable to sign him because the minor leaguers they had in mind kept getting called up to the major leagues, so they flew to the Mexican League to get Williams.
But Hanwha scout Kim Jin-young said, “He’s a player I’ve been watching since last year. He’s a hitter who will do better than he is now,” raising expectations. Williams is dancing with the winning streak, but will he be able to lead the team instead of just keeping up with it?