“It was like a blessing in disguise,” said Kim Do-young of the Kia Tigers after learning of the trade of senior Ryu Ji-hyuk.
On May 5, KIA announced a one-for-one trade that sent infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk to the Samsung Lions for catcher Kim Tae-gun. It was a necessary move to bolster the infield, which has been a weak position all season.
For Kim, Ryu Ji-hyuk was a special senior. In spring training, he worked on both shortstop and third base defense, with a greater emphasis on third base. “I got a lot of help from Ryu Ji-hyuk at third base,” he said.
“When I heard the news of Ryu’s trade, it was like a bolt from the blue. At the team meeting before I left, I couldn’t even say goodbye to him because I felt like I was going to cry every time I looked at him.”
Ryu Ji-hyuk took care of Kim Do-young and gave her a boost before leaving. “When I was a rookie, he approached me by himself and took care of me a lot, and thanks to him, I was able to adapt to the pros quickly. “Before he left for Samsung, he told me, ‘You have the qualities to become a superstar, so grow up and become a star that represents the KBO League.’ He was so important to the team. He was really a big part of the team. I’ll do my best to fill your shoes,” he said.안전놀이터
Ryu joined the Doosan Bears in 2012 and moved to KIA via trade in June 2020. In 292 games in a KIA uniform, he has a batting average of .276. He was an all-around infielder who could play any position in the infield.
He also has leadership skills. “I heard a lot about Ji-hyuk and Chung, and (Kim) Sun-bin is the next player on the team with good leadership,” said KIA manager Kim Jong-kook, who decided to make the trade to strengthen the team. “I said goodbye to them, saying, ‘If you play baseball without getting injured, we can meet again someday,'” he added.