Hidden ball trick in reverse works for SK Wyverns’ Kim

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Hidden ball trick in reverse works for SK Wyverns’ Kim

On Thursday at Daegu Baseball Stadium, SK Wyverns lefty ace Kim Kwang-hyun tried some sleight of hand, attempting to tag out the Samsung Lions’ Choi Hyoung-woo without having the ball in his glove.

The incident happened in the bottom of the fourth inning with the game tied 0-0.

Choi was on second base with two outs when Park Sok-min hit a pop fly that Wyverns catcher Lee Jae-won started to chase. He couldn’t locate the ball and signaled pitcher Kim and first baseman Andrew Brown for help. The trio froze, watching the ball bounce on the ground in the infield.

With two outs Choi was running as Park made contact and was heading for home when Kim tagged him with his glove, minus the ball, which first baseman Brown had retrieved. Kim’s act was good enough for the umpire, though, who called Choi out. TV replays picked out the problem a few moments later, but the damage was done.

In the confusion, none of the Lions, including Choi, noticed that Kim had tagged a baserunner out with an empty glove. They did get their revenge though; the Lions won the game 2-1.

Kim later said he wasn’t trying to deceive anyone; he reacted instinctively as the runner chugged by.

Some critics complained that he should have confessed to the umpire, but other coaches and players are wondering if the same trick might work again. And in what some might call poetic justice, Kim was sent temporarily to the minors after complaining of elbow pain.

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

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