“I always play with a sense of urgency.”

Shin started as the seventh outfielder against the Lotte Giants in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Sajik Stadium on July 27.안전놀이터

Shin struck out looking in his first at-bat. In his second at-bat, he showed his true colors. With his team leading 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning, he took a cutter from Na Kyun-ahn and hit a sacrifice fly to center field for a 2-0 lead. Keeping the momentum going, in his final at-bat in the top of the ninth, he lined a single to left off Kim Won-joong. In the end, he finished 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI, helping his team to a 2-1 victory.

Shin Bong-ki helped his team win the game with a wedge hit. ⓒKT Wiz

Before this season, Shin signed a one-year, 300 million won free agent contract with KT to extend his career. Eager to play, Shin changed his number and prepared for the season with a fresh mind. He handed over No. 7 to Kim Sang-soo and went back to his roots by wearing No. 56, the number he used to lead the Lotte Giants.

However, opportunities were hard to come by. He started the season in spring training with the Futures League, and after the season opened, he struggled with an ankle injury. He was dropped from the first team roster after April 30, and was given a second chance on April 26 when he joined the first team roster due to Kim Sang-soo’s injury.

Shin wore the number 7 until last year. This year, he changed his number to ’56’ and prepared for the season with extraordinary determination. KT Wiz

So far, he is performing at more than 100 percent. A day earlier (on the 26th), he came on as a late-game substitute and went 1-for-2 with one RBI. In particular, he hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning with his team leading 7-6 to help them win 8-6. He swung like he had something special in mind.

Before the game, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “I looked at the Futures League squad, and the most stable shortstop was (Shin) Bong-ki. He said he came with a desperate determination, and I was grateful that the player who came up from below did something about (the opponent) when (the main player) was away. He didn’t even smile,” he said, praising Shin for coming to the first team with such determination.

Shin’s determination was palpable. After the game, he said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the first team this season, and I haven’t played many games for the Futures, so it’s been hard to keep my senses. “I think it’s good to be back in the first team after a long time and have a good result,” he said. “I think (hitting for the second day in a row) helped because I prepared in advance for what the opposing pitcher was throwing and tried to think less when I was at bat.

“I always go into the game with a sense of urgency. I was called up (to the first team) when the team was in a good mood, and I hope that this mood can be maintained,” he said.

Shin showed a lot of determination. Let’s see how he performs in the first team for the rest of the season. ⓒKT Wiz

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