Wearing a blue uniform for another day… Kim Jae-sang returns his vacation before joining the military. “I want to keep running and go.”

I want to play as a professional baseball player until I am called by the national team. This is what Samsung Lions infielder Kim Jae-sang is talking about.안전놀이터

Kim Jae-sang started as the ninth batter and second baseman in Game 3 of the 2024 KBO League away game against Kiwoom Heroes at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 28th, scoring two hits, three RBIs and two runs in five times at bat. Samsung won 11-6, thanks to the performance of young players such as Kim Jae-sang, and maintained its third place in the league this season with its 18th win (1 draw and 12 losses).

Kim Jae-sang hit a four-seam fastball (straightball) by opposing pitcher Ha Young-min in the top of the fourth inning, when Samsung scored four points and won the game, and brought two runners home. While the opposing outfielder made a catch error, he hit the second base with a witty base run, and then hit the home run with a hit to the right-center by subsequent batter Kim Ji-chan. Kim Jae-sang also hit a right-handed hit against opposing pitcher Moon Sung-hyun in the first and third bases in the fifth inning, raising his third RBI in the game.

Kim also produced a sharp hit to the left-center field in his last at-bat in the eighth inning. Due to stellar defense by opponent left fielder Bae Sang-kwon, he failed to display a three-hit game. “I was disappointed that I had a hit in the eighth inning, but my team won,” Kim said with a smile. “If I get the chance, I will have three hits for the first time since my debut.”

Kim Jae-sang is a key player in the “Young Lion Corps.” He was selected in the third round of the 2023 Rookie Draft. He played in 17 games during his debut season, and he is evaluated as a full-fledged player from the beginning and is receiving more opportunities this season. As of Tuesday, he had a batting average of 0.233 in 16 games he played. He has demonstrated his presence even in the face of fierce competition among infielders. “I definitely have more leeway than last year, and it’s fun to play in games,” Kim said.

Samsung had 16 wins (seven losses) in 23 games it played in April, the highest winning percentage among the 10 teams (0.696). It is playing fast and sluggish baseball centering on young players.

There is not much time left for Kim Jae-sang to be with his colleagues this season. He applied to the Sangmu Baseball Team and was listed on the final successful candidate list. He will join the army in mid-June.

“I feel a bit sad (to join the military) because the team’s atmosphere is so good right now. The older members who finished their military service scared me (about the military). Still, I’m glad to continue playing baseball. Some of them advise me that it will be a valuable experience,” Kim said. “I felt rather comfortable because I was about to join the military. I have been spending my days with the mindset of ‘Let’s play baseball without regret.'”

I really want to play one more game and one more at-bat in the first team. I can get a vacation ahead of joining the army, but I plan on joining the army after playing in the first team as long as possible. “Chief coach Lee Byung-kyu asked my doctor about a two-week vacation before joining the army, and he said, ‘I want to be in the first team.’ I think it would be better to gain experience in the first team than a vacation,” Kim Jae-sang said with a smile.

He is a fan of Samsung who enjoys watching young players grow. Here is Kim Jae-sang, a player who wants to give up his vacation and keep his professional baseball status even for one more day. He expressed his determination that he will work hard in Sangmu and return to the team with a better appearance.

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