KIA fans were the hidden protagonists of KIA Tigers Kim Kyu-sung’s surprise home steal.
Kim Kyu-seong surprised everyone in an away game against the LG Twins held in Jamsil on the 29th. Unbeknownst to the opponent as well as the runners on dugout and 1st and 2nd, he ran home. Kim Kyu-seong played as a large runner in the top of the 9th inning, leading 5-3, and scored a wedge with a bold homesteal with two bases loaded.
It was a genius homesteal that took advantage of the fact that LG pitcher is left-handed Ham Deok-ju and his pitching habits. In the top of the ninth inning, Kim Sun-bin, the leader, went on base with a hit, and Kim Kyu-seong went out as the runner. Choi Hyung-woo’s hit and Socrates’ walk created a chance for a run and a full base. 7th Lee Chang-jin struck out with 2 outs. Han Seung-taek, number 8, was fighting until 1B2S. As Deok-joo Ham got into set position to throw the 4th pitch, Kyu-seong Kim started running home. Ham Deok-joo, a left-handed pitcher, had his back to third base, so he couldn’t see the runner’s movement at all, and catcher Park Dong-won didn’t notice that the runner was coming because of Han Seung-taek, a right-handed hitter. I recognized it only when Kim Kyu-seong came about 4/5, and I hurriedly threw the ball, but I was hit by Kim Gyu-seong, who had already slid into the groove. 6-3.
At first, it was recognized as Kim Kyu-sung’s single home steal, but it was immediately corrected as a triple steal. This is because the runners on 1st and 2nd base also ran to 2nd and 3rd base while Kim Kyu-seong was running home. However, because Kim Kyu-seong ran first, he made the 7th triple steal ever. 안전놀이터
I asked Kim Gyu-seong about the situation at the time. Cho Jae-young, the third base base coach, gave a word. Kim Gyu-seong said, “Coach Jae-Young Cho told me that if the third baseman is defending from the back, he leads a lot and the cheers of the fans are loud. He said, “I listened to the words and carefully looked at the pitching habits of senior Ham Deok-ju and watched the timing.” When asked if he played after watching the ball count, he said, “I tried to find a pitching habit, so it became 2 strikes, and then the shouts were very loud. Also, the coach gave me a sign to run, so I ran.”
At the time, the only person who knew Kim Kyu-sung’s home still was coach Cho. Kim Sun-bin praised Kim Kyu-seong, who came into the dugout, saying, “No one knew about us either.”
On the 26th, Kim Gyu-seong, who hit a three-run home run that led the team to victory against the NC Dinos, was asked which one was better between a home run and a home steal, and he said, “Home steal is better.”
Recently, it is not easy to see a home-steal where a third base runner jumps in first like Kim Kyu-seong. On that day, 23,500 spectators visited, and about half of them were KIA fans. Thanks to the comments of these fans, LG noticed Kim Kyu-seong playing late, leading to a wedge score. On this day alone, KIA fans were the real 10th players.