‘No comparison to O’Grady’, the $5.9 billion treasure has arrived… ‘Hanwha Victory Fairy’ Williams mesmerizes Hanwha fans, teammates, and command tower
He struck out a lot. There were no takers. There were concerns, but no real alternatives. The Hanwha Eagles could only hope that Nick Williams (30, USA), their replacement foreign hitter, would do well.
The crowd applauded when he hit a grounder to center field in his KBO debut on Sept. 27. It was a stark contrast to Brian O’Grady (31-USA), the $900,000 (KRW 1.186 billion) ‘Amul Complex’ outfielder. Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho explained the reason by saying, “He knows how to hit first.”토토사이트
In the KBO’s second game of the season, a home game against the KT Wiz on April 28, Williams hit a blistering two-run double for his first multi-hit game (two or more hits in a game) and the team’s sixth straight win in 1371 days.
The crowd was enthusiastic about Williams’ every move, and his teammates and even his coach couldn’t help but smile with satisfaction at the synergy they were getting from the foreign batsman.
O’Grady, who was brought in for his long-hitting tools, showed no signs of improvement over the first two months of the season. He packed his bags after a dismal .125 batting average with no home runs in 22 games, and Williams was brought in for half the price of O’Grady, totaling $450,000 ($150,000 signing bonus, $250,000 salary, $50,000 incentive), and while it’s too early to tell, the team is pleased so far.
“I was very worried,” said Choi Won-ho, who met with the media at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on the 29th. The contact was better than I thought. I hit it well,” he said, “Foreign players stimulate expectations and that’s important. In the Stoblig, the weaker teams have expectations when a player with a lot of experience comes in from outside. I think Williams came at a pretty good time for the team, and I think it gave them a little more momentum.”
In fact, Noh, who hit the game-winning home run the day before, said of Williams, “I’m so happy for him. Even at the beginning of the season, I had (Chae) Eun-sung and (Kim) In-hwan behind me, but with a new foreign hitter, I think we have a dynamite batting lineup.” “I think the opposing pitchers also feel more pressure,” he said.
“He seems to be the type of player who can hit long balls but is also passionate about baserunning, which is the type of player that fans can cheer for, and that’s the type of player I want to be.” “I think the team atmosphere was good when he hit two long balls, so I’m looking forward to the next game,” he said.
“I knew I was striking out a lot, and I worked on it a lot in the offseason,” said Williams, who is always smiling before and after the game. “I knew I struck out a lot, and I worked on it a lot in the offseason. I’m trying to be a little less aggressive and be more careful with my pitches.” “I haven’t seen us lose since I’ve been here. I don’t think we’re good enough to be in the bottom half of the standings, especially with the energy of the team. I can’t believe where we’re at right now,” O’Grady said in a positive tone.
In addition to his unexpected hitting ability, O’Grady’s upbeat personality and aggressive play on the basepaths are expected to bring synergy to the team. In the 28th game, when the team was down 0-4 in the second inning, Williams aggressively ran to second base and eventually drove in the next batter to set the stage for a comeback. It was the start of a momentous turnaround for Hanwha.
“I had a long flight and needed time to adjust, so my feet felt heavy, but now they feel light. I’m an aggressive runner,” said Williams, who describes herself as “a positive, upbeat player. A coach once asked me why I was always smiling.”
Williams is also a big family man. A fan of the popular anime Naruto, he has a tattoo on his arm of the character’s “愛” (love child) on his forehead, along with his mother’s name.
He also has a special story about wearing the number 3. “It was my brother’s favorite number. I wore it all the way through high school, and then I went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies as a five,” he says, “and then I came back to three. My brother passed away in a car accident, and I thought it would be meaningful to wear No. 3 again.”
The friendly Williams was welcomed with open arms by her teammates and quickly began contributing to the team with a multi-hit game after just two games. Williams, who has never lost a game for Hanwha, will be the “victory fairy” for Hanwha and will be looking to lead the team to their seventh consecutive win in 18 years. Hanwha will begin a three-game weekend series against the Samsung Lions in Daegu from today.