A lot has changed in just one year. Hwang Seong-bin (26, Lotte Giants) appeared as a ‘type that was not in Lotte’ last year and quickly established a position, and also quickly increased his stake inside and outside Sajik Stadium. Lotte fans began to fill the Sajik Stadium with uniforms with his name written on them, and Hwang Seong-bin filled his fuel this season with the love of the fans.
● “There were few cases like this in the first year of debut.”
Hwang Seong-bin ranked 5th in Lotte’s uniform sales last year. Retired star hitter Lee Dae-ho ranked first, standing shoulder to shoulder with Han Dong-hee, Jeon Jun-woo, and Choi Jun-yong. Han Seung-yeop, product manager of Lotte’s business team, said, “In the first year of our debut, there were very few cases where the uniform sales rankings were side by side with existing players.”
Seongbin Hwang is a rookie in 2020, but he enlisted as soon as he joined and played his debut season last year. He started making the first team in May, but fans were quickly captivated by his play. Hwang Seong-bin continued to stay in the first team entry and played an active role in 102 games with a batting average of 0.294, an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.707, 1 home run, 16 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. An official from Lotte said, “It is probably one of the reasons why fans love him so much for his sprint toward the base full of grit more than anyone else.”
Hwang Seong-bin, who recently contacted Sports Donga, said, “I am really grateful to the fans. The hyungs joke around saying ‘why do you have so many fans wearing your uniform’. Actually, I was a bit curious, so I stopped by the club merchandise shop on my way to work and asked, ‘Is my uniform selling a lot?’ (Laughs). I have no change in my desire to show fans my sprint, but this year I want to achieve the goal of fall baseball that both players and fans want.”
●“You liked the uniform number 40, Seongbin Hwang then.”
Seongbin Hwang changed his uniform number from number 40 to number 1. Number 1 is the uniform number Jeon Joon-ho, the Lotte outfield defense and operations coach, wore when he was a player. The former coach is a legend, ranking first in the category with 549 career steals. Hwang Seong-bin, who wanted to resemble his former coach, got the opportunity to change his uniform number when Ahn Joong-yeol (NC Dinos), the original owner of No. 1, transferred to Roh Jin-hyeok as a free agent (FA) compensation player.
Seongbin Hwang felt various emotions from the fans who bought the number 40 uniform. Fans change their uniforms according to the players they support. Seongbin Hwang said, “There is something I really want to tell you. Number 40 was the uniform number that meant my beginning. The people who bought that uniform must have liked Hwang Seong-bin that day. I think the uniform has meaning. It’s a uniform bought by people who liked it since I was nothing. I hope you will wear the number 40 uniform and come to support us.” 안전놀이터