The excitement was greater than the tension leading up to the competition. One of the hottest players in the KBO League this season is Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha).
The 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team, led by coach Ryu Joong-il, departed through Incheon International Airport Passenger Terminal 1 on the 28th and entered Hangzhou, China. The players, who trained at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul from the 23rd to the 27th, will undergo local adaptation training for two days in China on the 29th and 30th and then play the first match of the first round against Hong Kong on the 1st of next month.
As the team went through departure procedures in a calm atmosphere, a player surrounded by fans attracted attention as they left the check-in area one by one. Noh Si-hwan, who responded to each and every request for autographs, was delaying his move for a while. After spending a short time with his fans, he finished everything he had to do before leaving the country, including exchanging money.
Noh Si-hwan, who met reporters near ‘team junior’ Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha), where fan service is in full swing, said, “I’m not nervous yet and I don’t feel like I’m feeling real, so I’ll have to go to China to feel real.” He added, “I’m not very popular and (Moon) “I think Dongju is playing a part,” he joked. There was so much leisure.
Noh Si-hwan was evaluated as the best in the league in terms of power, but he did not reach his potential until last year. In particular, in the 2022 season, which was his previous season, he only hit 6 home runs, hurting his pride. He fell well short of his 12 home runs in 2020 and 18 home runs in 2021.
Noh Si-hwan has changed dramatically this season. Before joining the national team, he recorded 147 hits in 494 at-bats in 126 games, a batting average of 0.298, 31 home runs, and 99 RBIs, leading the team in home runs and RBI. Although it is still early, he is also being mentioned as a regular season MVP (Most Valuable Player) candidate.
Expectations are high for Noh Si-hwan both inside and outside the national team in this tournament as well. He said, “I don’t know, but I think I have to take responsibility once I take over as the main batting line. Since there are a lot of good pitchers, I checked the hitting timing a lot (during the training period), and I can see the ball well and it doesn’t seem to be bad.”
Noh Si-hwan, who faced pitchers during a practice game with Sangmu on the 26th, did not forget to mention not only himself but also the pitchers. He said, “(Having hit the ball), everyone’s pitch is good. So I thought the pitchers were reliable and worth a try. I think the fielders will do well, and if the pitchers hold up well, I think I will get good results.” I shared my thoughts.
Noh Si-hwan is trying to forget about the competition to be the home run king for a while and focus only on the competition. With Choi Jeong (SSG), who currently has 26 home runs, following closely behind, Noh Si-hwan said, “I’m not worried about it right now. I didn’t check the records because the national team is too important. (When I was in the dorm) I only watched Hanwha games.” “But if senior Choi Jeong hits a home run, everyone around him will call anyway, so there’s no need to look at him,” he said with a laugh.
Noh Si-hwan’s story is that he not only received news of Choi Jeong’s home run, but also received many messages of support from those around him. He did not leave out the name of Son Ah-seop (NC), a ‘hometown senior/junior’ relation. Noh Si-hwan expressed his gratitude to Son Ah-seop, saying, “We are in frequent contact. For some reason, he suddenly and seriously said, ‘Have a good trip, and make sure to do well and win a gold medal.’ I was a little touched.”
Noh Si-hwan, who is at the forefront of the national team’s challenge to win its fourth consecutive title, is trying to follow in the footsteps of Hanwha players who experienced gold medals in the Asian Games. At the 2014 Incheon Games, Taeyang Lee stood at the highest point of the podium, and at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, ‘veteran’ Jeong Woo-ram won the gold medal.메이저놀이터
Noh Si-hwan said, “(Senior Taeyang) kept teasing me, saying, ‘It’s only meaningful if you win a gold medal.’ My seniors cheered me on a lot because they thought I would (win) because I had good energy, but I wanted to win 4 times in a row and win a gold medal.” “I will do it. Of course, I have to win (the gold medal) as a traditional victory,” he said. “I think the support from the fans gives me a lot of strength. I will make sure to achieve good results and make the fans happy,” he said, and left the departure hall. I got out.