2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Golden Glove Awards held at the COEX Auditorium in Samseong-dong, Seoul

After having his first Golden Glove since his debut last year, Oh has maintained his position as the best shortstop in the league for two consecutive years. Oh, who received the Golden Photo Award, even took a camera due to his injury.

Immediately after receiving the award, Oh Ji-hwan said, “I received the Golden Glove last year, but I really wanted to get it this year,” adding, “In order for 2023 to be remembered as the best year for me, I was greedy because I thought it would be meaningful if there was a Golden Glove.”

Oh Ji-hwan had a batting average of 0.268 (113 hits in 422 times at bat) with eight homers, 62 RBIs and 16 stolen bases with an OPS of 0.767 in 126 games this season. He showed off his top-notch defense capability and productive batting ability, helping his team LG rank No. 1 in the regular league for the first time in 29 years.

He stood tall as a hero in the Korean Series, which he took for the first time in his life. He showed off his powerful performance with a batting average of 0.316 (six hits in 19 times at bat) and three homers and nine RBIs against KT Wiz, and was honored as the MVP of the series.

Notably, the team used drama in Game 3 of the Korean Series, in which LG won 8-7. At the top of the ninth inning, when the team was losing 5-7, it hit a dramatic three-run homer in the come-from-behind victory with two outs and runners on the first and second bases, creating one of the best scenes in the history of the Korean Series.

Oh also expressed his gratitude to his junior Park Chan-ho, who competed in good faith for the Golden Glove in the shortstop category this year. Park also had his best season since his professional debut with a batting average of 0.301 (136 hits in 452 times at bat) with three homers, 52 RBIs and 30 steals in 130 games this season. He even sought to win the Golden Glove award after becoming a .300 hitter, but failed to overcome Oh’s barrier.

Oh garnered 154 votes out of 291 votes cast, and won 52.9 percent of the votes cast, beating over KIA Tigers’ Park Chan-ho (120 votes) by 34 votes, as he was named the best shortstop in 2023. Competition was so fierce that he had the smallest gap with the player who ranked second in the relevant position among this year’s Golden Glove winners. Initially, there were predictions that Oh would win the prize by a rather generous margin in recognition of his contribution to LG’s overall win in the regular season and the Korean Series, but votes were also drawn to Park Chan-ho, who fought hard against Oh in good faith this year. The most tense race at this year’s Golden Glove took place at the shortstop position.

LG produced three winners including Oh Ji-hwan, Austin Dean in the first baseman category, and Hong Chang-ki in the outfielder category. Austin became the first foreign player at LG to receive the honor of wearing golden gloves. Hong Chang-ki was recognized as an outfielder in 2023 with the most votes.

The 2023 Golden Glove Awards went to Oh Ji-hwan, but Park Chan-ho’s dignity at the ceremony also made headlines. “I didn’t plan on coming at first, but I came in a hurry,” Park said in an official interview before the event began. When asked why, Park smiled, “It’s for the dignity of the second place.” Wearing a neat suit and receiving as much spotlight as the winner, Park was reborn as the best supporting actor at the 2023 Golden Glove Awards.

“Actually, I wanted to come and see it at least once. I don’t think I would get it at all.” As a player who has been mentioned over and over again, I thought it would be better if he could grace the place like this. Above all, I was curious about the scenery and things like this at the awards ceremony. I have to come as a winner someday,” he said, vowing to win the grand prize, better competition and the award next year.

It was Park Chan-ho, who also won the Defensive Award side by side at the KBO Awards held on the 27th of last month.

At that time, a joint winner was selected in the shortstop category, the only one among all positions. Oh garnered 75 points in voting and 12.5 points in defense, while Park posted 66.67 points in voting and 20.83 points in defense. In total, Park tied the score at 87.5 overall, being named the joint winner. Oh made 14 errors in 1,010 ⅔ innings, and Park made 14 errors in 1,042 ⅔ innings. SSG Park Sung-han ranked third with 79.17 points.

The KBO defense award, which honors players in different positions who display the best defense capabilities in the regular season, was established for the first time this season. The winner was decided by combining 75 percent of the voting score and 25 percent of the defense record, which are determined by a total of 110 votes, including 11 coaches, and heads of teams.

The joint award between Oh Ji-hwan and Park Chan-ho means that veteran players and scary newcomers are competing in good faith at shortstop positions. The latest Golden Glove vote proved it again.

Park Chan-ho, who received the Defensive Player award at the time, said, “I am honored to receive the title of the first winner. I thank my coach and coach who lead me with faith. I am grateful and love my family. I am also honored to receive the award with my senior, whom I always look up to.”

“Just being mentioned (with Oh Ji-hwan) is so nice. I think it has been mentioned for months. Now I am feeling that I am taking a step closer to the kind of player that I thought. I am so happy just now,” Park said.

Oh Ji-hwan also applauded Park’s participation. “Just being in the same competition with me and being here is a great way to show great performance. Even if I don’t receive it next year, I will do my best to make it to the point where I can come,” Oh said.

After hearing about Park’s remarks to reporters, he said, “I think he is such a great friend. He is a younger player than me, but I feel I have to learn from him and respect him. I want to ask him a lot in baseball when I meet him (next year).”

Oh Ji-hwan is keeping his position as the active shortstop No. 1, but he promised to do his best to improve himself as his juniors are growing rapidly. They say that the presence of junior players who threaten his stronghold instills positive tension.

“The shortstop position used to be very competitive. There are many outstanding players,” Oh said. “Me too, KIA Park Chan-ho, SSG Park Sung-han, Samsung Lee Jae-hyun and Kiwoom Kim Hye-sung will come back as shortstop next year, which gives me good impetus.”

“I’ve been lucky enough to keep my position at LG (as a shortstop), but I have to show that I’m also competitive as the younger members of other teams come up,” he said, adding, “I’ll play with the goal of the Golden Glove again (next year) so that I can prove that I’m still competitive.”

Oh Ji-hwan is most likely to lead LG as the Twins’ captain next year. As a player who will serve as captain for three consecutive years, he also expressed his desire for the club. He hopes that negotiations for free agency (FA) by Lim Chan-kyu, a close junior pitcher, will conclude smoothly.

Lim Chan-kyu contributed to LG’s victory by posting 14 wins, three losses and one hold with an ERA of 3.42 in 144 ⅔ innings in 30 games this year. Not only his skills but also his leadership that encompasses the pitching staff are considered essential resources for LG in the future.

Oh Ji-hwan joked, “As the record suggests, Lim Chan-kyu is a really necessary player for the team. I hope the club will pay Lim Chan-kyu a lot of money,” and wished Lim Chan-kyu a great FA win.

Oh Ji-hwan himself is about to sign his second FA contract with the club. Oh Ji-hwan exercised his first FA rights after the end of the 2019 season and signed a four-year total of 4 billion won with LG.

After the 2022 season, Oh agreed early on with LG to sign an extension contract. In order to catch Oh Ji-hwan, the team granted Oh a remarkable condition of 12.4 billion won (17.4 million U.S. dollars) for six years ahead of the expiration of his contract as an FA.

“I decided to meet Cha Myung-seok this week. I think I will sign an FA contract for 12.4 billion won (six years),” Oh said with a smile. 안전놀이터 추천

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