SEOUL-- No current position player for the Doosan Bears has appeared in as many postseason games as third baseman Heo Kyoung-min, who will play in his 67th playoff game Friday night.
That experience has brought the 31-year-old a healthy dose of perspective, too, to a point where Heo can shrug off his hot start to the ongoing postseason.
In two wild card games and one game into the first round in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) postseason, Heo is batting .545 (6-for-11) with two RBIs. He contributed three hits, including two doubles, in the Bears' 5-1 victory over the LG Twins Thursday night to open the best-of-three first round. He has a .333 career postseason batting average.
Asked about his performance so far this fall, Heo said Friday these early numbers "don't mean anything."
"There's no point of getting too excited about numbers at this stage," Heo said in his pregame interview at Jamsil Baseball Stadium. "Stats at the end of the playoffs (with a championship clinched) are far more important. Right now, these numbers don't mean anything to me."
Heo made his KBO debut in 2012 and got his first taste of the postseason that same year. He spoke of how his perception of playing baseball this time of year has evolved.
"When I first got into a postseason game, so many people said this was going to be all fun, and I figured I was supposed to just enjoy myself," Heo said. "But a few years ago, I started to feel a bit more pressure to put up numbers."
Heo said some of his teammates still carry "happy to be here" vibes while others stress over every at-bat.
"I guess that's baseball. Everyone is different, and not everyone can do well," Heo said. "But if we can all come together as a team, it creates something positive. I didn't hit as well this year (in the regular season) as I had in the past, but I also learned a lot about the game."
Source: Yonhap News Agency