Ji Man Choi (최지만) Makes History in the World Series

Ji Man “G-Money” Choi, the first Korean-born player to record a hit in the World Series.

2020 has been a year of many firsts for Korea on the world stage: Parasite, the first non-English language/South Korean film to win Best Picture at the Oscars; Kamala Harris, the first Black and Asian-American woman nominated vice president on a major party ticket; BTS, the first K-Pop act to hit #1 on the Billboard Charts. Now, enter Ji Man “G-Money” Choi, the first Korean-born player to record a hit in the World Series.

Choi broke into the Major Leagues in 2016 and, after bouncing around a few teams, ultimately found a home in Tampa Bay. And now the Tampa Bay Rays are three wins away from winning the World Series due in large part to their first baseman, Choi. This is the deepest playoff run for the Rays since 2008 and they have done it in impressive fashion, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays, the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros to get this point.  And throughout this postseason Choi has racked up a total of ten hits including impressive home runs against both the Yankees and the Astros. 

But his most important hit, at least from a cultural standpoint, was his line drive single in the sixth inning of Game Two of the World Series. With his shot to right field, Choi became the first Korean-born player to record a base hit in the Fall Classic. And with the best-of-seven series against the Los Angeles Dodgers tied at one game apiece, Choi will have plenty of opportunities to produce with both his glove and his bat.

In a year of many firsts, could we see some World Series heroics from G-Money and possibly the first Korean to hit a home run on the biggest stage? We certainly hope so.

Christopher S. Bae is a second generation Korean American born and raised in New York. He credits his parents, who encouraged him to attend Korean school as a child, for instilling a sense of pride in his Korean heritage.


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