The San Diego Padres were among the first to congratulate Kim Ha-seong, 28, on becoming the first Asian infielder to win a Major League Baseball (MLB) Gold Glove.
Kim was named the National League (NL) Utility Player of the Year on the 2023 MLB Gold Glove winners list announced on June 6 (KST).
The Padres immediately reacted on social media to the announcement, which was broadcast live on ESPN, as Kim beat out stiff competition from Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Tommy Edmon (St. Louis Cardinals).
On the club’s official X (formerly Twitter) account, the first thing they wrote in Korean was “Gold itself,” followed by “Congratulations to Hae-Sung Kim on winning his first Gold Glove.”
The accompanying photo was all golden.
The Gold Glove celebration video released shortly afterward also emphasized the word “gold.
The 45-second congratulatory video featured “highlights” of Kim’s play at third base, shortstop, and second base.
The words ‘Gold Glove Winner’ were also added in Korean.
In the video, Kim’s glove shone in golden color, like a movie hero’s ‘secret weapon’.
The American sports publication Athletic featured an interview with Kim in September, before he returned to South Korea.
“Kim becomes first Asian infielder to win Gold Glove,” the article reads, “The Bucheon, South Korea, native has been named a Gold Glove winner, an award given to the best utility player in each league.
“I want young infielders from all over Asia to play in the major leagues,” Kim said. It’s a big accomplishment for me personally, but I’m happy just to be able to show them their dreams,” he said. “There are a lot of people who think it’s hard for Asian infielders to make it in the big leagues, but it’s most important to be someone who can protect their dreams.”
“It’s more valuable to win a Gold Glove as a utility player than as a second baseman,” he added.
Kim lost out to Nico Horner (Chicago Cubs) in the second base category at this year’s Gold Glove Awards. 슬롯