Veterans shine in first half of ‘Cumulative Worth’ with all-time firsts

Demonstrating the value of consistency, veterans have achieved significant milestones in the first half of the 2023 KBO League.

Choi Hyung-woo, 40, a veteran hitter 꽁머니 for the resurgent KIA Tigers, broke two all-time records held by Lee Seung-yeop, 47, of the Doosan Bears.

On June 20, Choi hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles to reach 1,500 career RBIs. He surpassed Lee Seung-yeop (1,498 RBIs), the previous record holder, and became the first player in KBO history to reach 1,500 RBIs.

Prior to that, Choi hit his 465th career double in the first inning against the Gwangju Samsung Lions on April 23. He surpassed the previous record holder, Lee Seung-yeop, who had 464. Choi has since added 13 more doubles and now has 478 career doubles.

Choi Jung (36-SSG Landers), the KBO’s best right-handed hitter, became the first player in KBO history to hit double-digit home runs in 18 consecutive seasons with a solo shot in the third inning against the Incheon Samsung Lions on June 1. He surpassed his previous record of 17 consecutive seasons.

Choi also achieved a first for a right-handed hitter in the first half. On April 28, he hit a solo home run in the first inning against the Incheon Doosan to reach 3,700 career RBIs, becoming the youngest player in KBO history (36 years, 2 months) and the first right-handed hitter to do so.

Oh Seung-hwan, the “Endgame King,” may have lost some of his power this season, but he still managed to achieve the first-ever record with steady steps. On June 6, Oh pitched a scoreless first inning against the Daegu NC Dinos to earn his eighth save of the season, 278th of his KBO career, and 500th of his Korean-American career. The 500-save milestone is unheard of in Nippon Professional Baseball, and only Mariano Rivera (652 saves) and Trevor Hoffman (601 saves) have achieved it in Major League Baseball. Oh added two more saves to reach 380 saves in the first half of the KBO season.

In the first half of the 2023 season, the veterans impressed fans with their record-breaking performances that showed the value of accumulation. It will be interesting to see what other records will be set in the second half of the season.

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