Player focus Hong Sung-heon (Doosan Bears)

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Player focus Hong Sung-heon (Doosan Bears)

Doosan Bears veteran Hong Sung-heon made history on Sunday as he became the first right-handed batter to get 2,000 hits in the league.

In a game against the NC Dinos in Seoul on Sunday, the 38-year-old delivered a single to right field in the third inning and then launched his 2,000 hit with a double in the seventh. Hong is the fifth batter in KBO history to reach 2,000 hits, followed by Yang Joon-hyuk, Jeon Jun-ho, Jang Sung-ho and Lee Byung-kyu. However, they are all lefty hitters.

Hong made his first hit on April 30, 1999, against the Samsung Lions and collected his 1,000th hit against the Nexen Heroes on May 7, 2008.

The six-time KBO Golden Glove Winner had 100 hits or more in 13 seasons. The only time he had fewer were in 1999, 2003 and 2007. Starting as catcher and now playing as a designated hitter, Hong’s best season was in 2004 when he delivered 165 hits.

Hong said he’s thought about the record, and had felt pressure from it. But he added that his focus was getting the record in front of home fans.

Hong said that his next goal is to play 2,000 games in the KBO. As of Monday, he has as played 1,895.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [joo.kyungdon@joongang.co.kr]

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