“Thank you for your help in a short time, and God bless you”

…the last words of a chubby foreign batsman to former manager Choi Won-ho

“I’m grateful for all the help I’ve gotten in the short time I’ve been here. I will pray for blessings on your next step.”

Hanwha Eagles slugger Jonathan Peraza says goodbye to former manager Choi Won-ho.

The Hanwha Eagles, led by acting manager Chung Kyung-bae, defeated Kim Tae-hyung’s Lotte Giants 12-3 in their first home game of the 2024 KBO regular season at Hanwha Saengsung Eagles Park in Daejeon, South Korea, on Monday.

With the win, Hanwha improved its record to 22 wins, one draw and 29 points. It was also the first win for acting manager Jung Kyung-bae, who replaced Choi Won-ho, who resigned.

Peraza, who batted second and played left field in the starting lineup, was the star of the show, going 4-for-4 with a double, home run, and two RBIs to lead the Hanwha offense.

Peraza’s bat came alive early in the game. With one out in the bottom of the first inning, he hit a 147-kilometer fastball from right-hander Park Se-woong for a double to center field. Chae Eun-sung followed with a single to left to score the first run.

In the bottom of the third inning, with Hanwha trailing 1-3, Peraza made his presence felt. He stepped to the plate and took a two-pitch 146-kilometer fastball from Park Se-woong for a 110-meter solo arch over the left field fence. It was Peraza’s 15th home run of the season.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, when Hanwha scored eight runs, Peraza reached base twice. He drew a walk with one out, came home on a Chae Eun-sung push single, and then singled up the middle with the bases loaded.

With the momentum in her favor, Peraza continued to swing the bat sharply in the bottom of the seventh inning with Hanwha leading 11-3. With the bases loaded and one out, he hit a five-seam, 144-kilometer fastball from left-handed reliever Hong Min-ki for a single to left field. Had he reached third base and been ruled safe at the time, he would have faced the prospect of becoming the first player in history to record a cycling hit (a hit, double, triple, and home run 먹튀검증 all in the same game), but he didn’t get greedy. Shortly afterward, he was replaced by pinch-hitter In-ho Choi, who finished the job.

After the game, Peraza said, “I’m happy to have hit a home run that could help the team win,” and smiled, “I’m disappointed that I missed a cycling hit, which I’ve never done before, but I didn’t push myself too hard because I have to keep playing for the team.”

The win was especially meaningful for Hanwha in many ways. It was the first game after the resignations of head coach Choi Won-ho and CEO Park Chan-hyuk due to poor performance.

The atmosphere could have been a bit jittery, but it was not. Peraza and the rest of the Hanwha players didn’t falter, and in the end, they were able to give head coach Choi Won-ho and CEO Park Chan-hyuk a parting gift: a big win.

“It could have been a heavy atmosphere today, but it’s not something I can control,” Peraza said, adding, “I tried to focus on what I can do.”

After signing with Hanwha ahead of the season, the lanky foreign-born slugger is batting .327 (202-for-66) with 15 home runs, 40 RBIs and four doubles in 51 games, including this one against Lotte. He struggled a bit in April, batting just .250, but has rebounded.

This was due to the efforts of former manager Choi Won-ho. Choi worked tirelessly to get Peraza acclimated, and as a result, Peraza has become one of the best foreign hitters in the league.

“I had a short time with Wonho Choi, but he helped me a lot, not only with baseball but also with adapting to a new place. I am grateful to him,” he said, adding, ‘I will pray for his blessings on my next step.’


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