He was facing his hometown team of two and a half years, the LG Twins. The pressure could have been overwhelming, but Seo, wearing a Kia Tigers jersey, took it in stride. “I approached it the same way I did before. I didn’t put any other emotions into it, I didn’t think about doing better, I just focused on helping the team win,” he said.

Seo rings in his former team, LG. Seo came off the bench to pinch-hit for LG in a home game against Gwangju-Gia Champions Field on Tuesday, going 1-for-1 with a walk, an RBI, and a stolen base in the team’s come-from-behind win.

Trailing 2-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Seo Geon-chang, who came to bat for No. 9 Kim Kyu-sung, drew a full-count walk against Kim Jin-sung. After putting runners on first and second with no outs, Kia scored a run on a single to left by No. 2 Kim Sun-bin to make it 3-4.

In the bottom of the eighth, Geary tied the game. With runners on second and third, Seo Geon-chang took a 150-kilometer fastball from reliever Yoo Young-chan and hit a two-run double to right. At first, he thought it was a home run, but the ball hit the fence and was ruled a double. The runner from third base came home to tie the game at 4-4, and when Kim Do-young came to bat, Yoo Young-chan committed a walk, allowing Ko Jong-wook to come home to make it 5-4. In the end, Seo’s performance was key to the one-run seventh inning and the tying and winning runs in the eighth.

“The team was losing and I had a good chance in the second inning,” Seo said. “I think I had a strong feeling that I couldn’t miss it. Before I stepped up to the plate, my hitting coach told me to never miss a fastball, so I went in with the simple idea of executing that,” he said of his tying double.

Seo was traded to LG in the middle of the 2021 season after winning Rookie of the Year in 2012 and MVP in 2014 with 201 hits for the Nexen Heroes. It was a turnaround move for LG, which hadn’t had a good second baseman in years. Seo was also set to become a free agent that year, so it seemed like a win-win situation. However, Seo struggled, and LG finished third in the regular season. Seo opted for free agency and started off strong in 2022, but his hitting struggles continued. In 2023, he tried to break out of his slump with manager Yeom Kyung-yup, who had been his mentor at Nexen, but it wasn’t easy. He topped the batting average in the exhibition games, but he didn’t really show his talent in the regular season. He lost the leadoff spot to Shin Min-jae, and didn’t even make it to the Korean Series. After the season, he requested his release from the club and became a free agent and joined his hometown team, KIA.

In his first meeting with LG, Seo made it clear that he was a changed man. Seo, who had appeared as a pinch-hitter in Game 9 the day before and had a 먹튀검증 single, proved to be KIA’s “belly button” by giving new closer Yoo Young-chan his first blown save.

This season, he’s batting a whopping 4-for-9 (12-for-28) with one home run and eight RBIs. He’s relaxed, happy, and enjoying playing baseball with his teammates.

His playing time has been uneven. Sometimes he starts, but more often than not, he’s a late-game pinch-hitter. Still, he’s maintaining a good batting average.

“Even if I don’t start, I’m still getting one or two at-bats in the late innings. And I think it’s up to the players to keep their senses intact even if they don’t play often,” he said.

When asked about his good performance as a pinch-hitter alongside Go Jong-wook, Seo said, “When I’m not starting, I talk to him a lot. Jong-wook performed well as a pinch-hitter last year, and I learned some of his know-how.” When asked what kind of know-how, he said, “It’s a trade secret.”

He said that the cheers from the fans give him a lot of strength. The fans sing the old Nexen cheer, which was brought over from KIA.

Seo said, “When I hear that song, I think about the old days, and it makes me cry. It just sticks in my ears.” “Thank you for bringing back the old cheer and letting us use it, and thank you for singing it loudly. It’s really giving me a lot of strength. Today, I did my first interview in a long time, and I cried when the fans sang the cheer.” He expressed his gratitude to the fans.


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