After becoming the first Asian infielder to win a Major League Baseball (MLB) Gold Glove, Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres) reflected on his most fulfilling season since arriving in the United States. “I’m honored to be the first Korean to win a Gold Glove,” Kim said at an official press conference at Hotel Rivera Cheongdam in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, on Tuesday. “I’m glad I was able to motivate many of my youth friends who dream of playing in the major leagues and juniors who play in professional baseball. “Kim was named the National League (NL) Gold Glove winner in the utility category on June 6, as announced by the MLB office. He is the first Korean to win the Gold Glove, which is awarded solely for defensive performance, and the first Asian infielder to win the award. “After winning the award, I have the ambition to win it in the future,” Kim said. “I was only shortlisted for the Silver Slugger (awarded to players with good hitting), but next year I will try to win it at the same time,” he added.

He also revealed that he didn’t like playing multiple positions when he was in school and playing in the KBO, but in hindsight, it helped him a lot. The following is a one-on-one interview with Kim Ha-seong on how he felt during the live announcement of the Gold Glove winners. I was a finalist for shortstop in 2022 and didn’t win. I was actually sleeping at home when the Gold Glove was announced. My phone vibrated so loudly that I looked up and saw that I had won. I saw it on YouTube. I think my heart would have been racing if I had been watching. Good thing I was sleeping. Which Gold Glove did you think you were going to win? I would have loved to have won both. I would have liked to see him win the utility award. Second base is great, but with the increased value of multiplayer in the major leagues, I think the utility award is valuable. What statistical data do you value most in baseball?

I know there are a lot of defensive metrics. I was checking. I’ll admit, I didn’t pay attention to my defense at the end of the season because my hitting was going down.You switched positions before the season.I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel pressure when I switched positions. I wasn’t in a position to choose a position. I told the club that playing time was more important than position. I think the coaching staff and the guys around me helped me and I didn’t do too badly at second base .Did you congratulate Tommy Hyun-Soo Edmon (St. Louis Cardinals), who was competing with you for the utility position? I saw him during the game and talked to him. I think I told him congratulations. We became very close during the World Baseball Classic (WBC). I don’t see him often, but when I do, I’m always happy to see him, and I wish him the best. It’s a symbol of hustle play. It’s a shame that the specially made helmets don’t come off anymore.

It was a big decision. The fans cheered every time it came off, but I personally requested it (the specialty) because I thought I might get hit in the head by a ball. The club changed a lot of things, but it came off. The one I made this time is less likely to come off. I think it will help me play better if it doesn’t come off. I don’t think I have a small head, and the helmet weighs a lot, so it came off even if I shook it a little. I think it’s also because I’m fast and get hit by a lot of wind. It’s been two weeks since you won the Gold Glove, whose congratulations have been the most memorable? Before I won, I wasn’t expecting much, and I didn’t think I was going to win a Gold Glove. After winning, you get greedy. I hope to get a Gold Glove in the future. His most memorable congratulations came from manager Bob Melvin. “He’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. He said, “It’s been a pleasure working with you. You beat out Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers), Edmon, and others for the Gold Glove. What do you think was behind that?

Those guys are just so good. I was worried, but maybe my defense wasn’t good enough. Unlike Korea, the American Gold Glove only looks at defense. I think I got it because my defense was better than both players. What are the differences between Korean and American defense? The basics of baseball are the same everywhere. The U.S. has a lot of creative plays. There are plays like bare-handed catches, backhanded catches, and running throws. When I was in Korea, I think I was too focused on the basics. There was this idea that you always have to catch it from the front. When I came to the U.S., I was told that I should be free to use one-handed catches, so I had a lot of things to apply in my game. The ground is better in the major leagues, so I think I got a little better in the U.S. than I did in Korea.

What has been your most positive influence this season? I realized something while talking to Park Chan-ho. I’ve been playing sports my whole life, so I always thought I had to go up. After my first year, I had a huge failure and it was the hardest time of my career. It was hard because I thought I had to go up, and when I fell, it was hard to handle. Park Chan-ho said, “I want you to think of it as a steady progression rather than a climb.” When it doesn’t work, stop and try again. It helped me a lot to hear him say, “Stop when it doesn’t work and start again. It made me more determined to play steadily throughout the season. My teammates Manny Machado and Xander Boharz have a good mentality and I’m learning from them. Mentally, my family has been my biggest support .Do you find it difficult to play three positions in defense?

I hated it, actually. I hated playing utility. It was the same in high school, it was the same in the pros, and I was like, “I only want to see shortstop. Even in the pros, I played third base, and I hated it. I didn’t think it would help me in the major leagues. Now that I think about it, I think those feelings and the time I spent hating it helped me grow. The most difficult position for me personally is somewhere. Third base is hard. The ball is so fast, and third base is a position that requires handling. You can’t really see the angle of the hitter. If I’m out of position, I have to use a lot of concentration. There are also physical challenges. What did you think of the younger players when you visited your alma mater after 16 years? My mentor wasn’t there when I played. I went because it was a good opportunity, and it was really meaningful. When I was in elementary school, there were only nine of us. When I was talking to them, they told me their dream was to be a major league player. When I was younger, I don’t know if I could have said that confidently, but I felt good that they felt close to the major leagues. I hope they grow up well and shine in Korean baseball. What steps did you take to grow up in the major leagues?

I tried to build my castle on concrete, not on sand. I trained a lot even when I wasn’t performing well. I was trying to figure out how to get better. I saw my problems in the offense. I hit a lot of machine balls because I was broken offensively and didn’t know what to do. My thumb was also swollen. Passion helped me. Then I met with coach Choi Won-je, and it was a chance to reorganize. I think I can improve in my batting. In defense, I think I have good shoulders. When I catch the ball, I have confidence that I can get an out. I’m confident that if I catch the ball, I can get an out. “You’ve been nominated for a Silver Slugger, do you have any desire to win the Gold Glove next year? I’d love to, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet in terms of hitting. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m going to go into next season confident. It’s going to be hard, but I’m nominated, so I’ll try.I also received the Most Valuable Player (MVP) vote .I’m grateful to the people who voted for me. It gives me a chance to work harder. It makes me proud. There were a lot of changes in the major leagues this year, such as bigger bases and limited shifts.

I wanted to steal a lot of bases this year. I got lucky with the base size and the pitch clock and the shift restrictions, so I tried to steal more bases. It was better for me, but also for the guys who were running (stolen bases). I want to steal more bases next year. The changes were positive. On the flip side, when you’re defending, you can’t shift, so the second baseman has more work to do, and I think that helped me. My role at second base was bigger, so it was a little more fun .On the specific differences in ground conditions between Korea and the United States .It’s hard to explain. There’s a quote from Addison Russell (ex-Keum Heroes). She said that in the U.S., no matter how fast you hit, it’s like a comfortable bed, but in Korea, it’s hard. The speed of the ball is faster in the US than in Korea. It’s easier to defend because you don’t have to worry about irregularities. I think Korean player Oh Ji-hwan (LG Twins) is a great defender. Do you have any specific goals? I want to win a Gold Glove no matter what position I play. I think defense is what I can do best. I want to keep proving myself .What is the hardest thing about living in the United States?

My first year was hard, and it’s still hard. Time is the medicine. You learn a lot over time. You get more experienced and more comfortable. The first year was hard because every day was a new day. You never knew what the next day would bring. Now I’m in my third year. I have a general idea of how the day is going to go. I know how the day will go. I’ve gotten comfortable with that. In the end, there are things that you can only gain from experience. Do you feel responsible for being a Korean athlete? I think I have to follow the path paved by my seniors. I feel like I need to do well so that the juniors can have a good road .Is there anything you want to improve in your batting stats? Last year, I said I wanted to hit more long balls. The last month was tough and disappointing, and I need to prepare my stamina to go all the way. Next year, I need to focus on being able to hit harder. My hitting is still not complete. I need to keep working on the things I’ve been working on. “You are scheduled to play in the opening game of the MLB Seoul next year. How will your teammates react? It’s an honor to play in the first MLB opening game in Korea. I hope MLB will add more 무료슬롯게임 tournaments like this in the future. During the tournament, a lot of younger kids came to the ballpark.

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