Hanwha’s newest foreign hitter, Nick Williams (30), recorded his first career hit in the second game of the KBO. He also had a long hit and contributed to the team’s victory. It’s his fifth day with the team, and he’s already showing great adaptability to Korean culture.
“Korean hitters have been facing Ko Young-pyo’s changeup for a few years now, and not many of them can hit it well,” said 꽁머니사이트 manager Choi Won-ho before the 28th game. “Seeing him make contact in his second at-bat, I thought it was fine compared to the number of strikeouts I was worried about. You can’t ignore the fact that I’ve seen quality pitchers with over 900 at-bats in the majors and over 1,000 at Triple-A.”
He was right, and the results were immediate.
Williams, who also started in left field in the four spot on Aug. 28, drove a 146-kilometer fastball from KT’s Wes Benjamin over the wall in the bottom of the second inning for a single.
He followed it up with a smart baserunning play for his first hit in the KBO. His throw to third base hit Hwang Jae-gyun’s glove and slowed him down. Williams took advantage, stole second and scored on Kim Tae-yeon’s single up the middle.
After being retired on a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning, Williams came to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning when Lee tied the game at 4-4 with a two-run homer. This time, it was for real. Benjamin’s second pitch, a 137-kilometer slider, split the plate in right-center. He advanced to second base with ease. It proved he had a hit.
Williams completed his three-hit game. In the bottom of the seventh inning, after Noh’s game-winning solo shot made it a 5-4 game, he lined a ball up the middle. The ball hit the glove of the center fielder and went out for an error. Williams took advantage and stole second base again. This time, she couldn’t get the follow-up hit to score.
Hanwha held on for a 6-4 victory and extended its winning streak to six games. It’s been 1371 days since they last won a game, from Sept. 16, 2019, against the Daegu Samsung Lions to Sept. 26, 2019, against the Changwon NC Dinos.
It took him a while to get to Hanwha, but as soon as he arrived, he made a solid contribution. He is quickly adjusting to the Korean stage and Korean culture. According to Hanwha officials, he has already started eating Korean food. From kimchi to spicy pork rinds to seagulls, he’s been eating all kinds of food and enjoying it.
This adaptability may have contributed to his quick hitting. “I’ve had a lot of first hits, but it’s better than in other leagues and I’m happy,” Williams said after the game.
Williams is a smiling angel. She always has a smile on her face. Whether it’s in training or during a game.
“I think I’m a positive, upbeat player,” he said, “and I try to play with such a positive energy and attitude that one of my coaches once said to me, ‘Why are you always smiling, you’re always smiling,’ and I try to show that to (the fans) a lot.”
Smiley Guy Williams also has a family history. He lost his brother in an accident. “His favorite number was No. 3,” Williams said. I wore the number 3 all the way through high school, then I wore the number 5 in Philadelphia, and then I went back to the number 3. My brother passed away in a car accident, and I thought it would be meaningful (to honor him) to wear the number 3 again,” he said of his choice.
With his brother in his heart, Williams will continue to hit and run. “I just want to say how much I love the fans,” he said, “and I love the energy and the atmosphere. I’m looking forward to continuing to perform well,” he said.