In professional baseball, hitters are as afraid of being hit by a foul hit as they are by a ball thrown by an opposing pitcher.
This is because it is not uncommon for a batted ball to hit the foot and break a bone.
This year, Hwang Jae-gyun of kt wiz broke his left toe after being hit by a foul ball and lost his power.
However, there is a player who has been hit by foul balls on the same foot 4 times in the last 3 weeks.
This is Ryu Ji-hyeok (29), the KIA Tigers스포츠토토‘ ‘dummy’ infielder.
Ryu Ji-hyeok was hit on his right foot four times, but he got back up and led the KIA lineup.
The first time Ryu Ji-hyeok was injured was on the 25th of last month against the NC Dinos.
At that time, Ryu Ji-hyeok was replaced after being hit by a foul ball while dealing with NC starter Eric Peddy in the 6th inning.
Fortunately, there was nothing wrong with his bones. After missing the game on April 26, he returned on the 27th against NC.
Ryu Ji-hyeok was hit in the same place again on the 12th of this month against the Doosan Bears. During the attack in the 8th inning, a foul ball hit the right shin.
He said, “It was very painful to hit the injured area again,” and “it was just above the top of the right foot. So after the game that day, I lowered the protector and played the game.”
I got lucky this time too. His bones are not broken.
Ryu Ji-hyeok’s ordeal is not over. Three days later, on the 16th, in the first inning of an away game against the Samsung Lions at Daegu Samsung Lions Park, he was hit again in the right shin by a foul ball he had hit.
Ryu Ji-hyeok said, “It was right above the guard,” and “the lower part of the foot hurt, so I lowered the guard and hit it, but it hit the right top of the guard.”
The pain was considerable, but he endured it and continued the game.
The ‘accident’ continued. He collapsed after being hit in the right shin by an assault foul hit again in the second attack, 2nd, 1st and 3rd base opportunities. It was right there in his first inning.
He couldn’t stand it any longer. Ryu Ji-hyeok, who collapsed, was picked up by the training coach.
Ryu Ji-hyeok said, “It was so painful that I couldn’t breathe.”
KIA Tigers Ryu Ji-hyeok
(Daegu = Yonhap News) Reporter Kim Kyung-yoon = KIA Tigers Ryu Ji-hyuk poses after an interview with Yonhap News at Daegu Samsung Lions Park on the 17th. 2023.5.17. firstname.lastname@example.org
as many as 4 times. That’s the number of times he’s been hit in the right foot in 3 weeks.
Ryu Ji-hyeok, whom we met at Daegu Samsung Lions Park on the 17th, said, “I thought I was seriously injured when I was hit by a ball yesterday.”
“I ordered a large protector today,” he added. “Now I’m going to hit with a protector that completely covers my right foot.”
When asked, “Shouldn’t I take a little break?”, Ryu Ji-hyeok said, “It’s okay since my bones aren’t broken.”
Currently, Ryu Ji-hyeok has become indispensable to the KIA lineup. He played in 32 games until the 17th as the KIA’s first hitter this season, posting a batting average of 0.337 and an on-base percentage of 0.414.
His batting average is second in the league and his on-base percentage is fourth.
Ryu Ji-hyeok said, “I am concentrating on batting with the thought that I must go on base unconditionally while taking on the leadoff role this season. The pain in my right foot has not completely disappeared, but I will do my best.”