The Korean call of pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu's first homer is the exhilarating bliss of a moment years in the making
Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is finishing up an incredible year for the Dodgers, one that should have him positioned for some serious consideration come awards season.
He's dazzled on the mound, anchoring a pitching staff filled with big names like Clayton Kershaw and young fireballer Walker Buehler. When Ryu pitches, it also means one thing: He gets to hit, and he tries very hard at the plate. He entered the game without a home run, though, in 208 official at-bats.
In Sunday's game against the Rockies, in his final start at home before the Dodgers look ahead to the postseason, Ryu hit a home run. Finally. Dodgers broadcaster Joe Davis was on the mic for the call, and it was loud:
That's quite a call, right? It pales in comparison, though, to how Korean sports network MBC Sports+ handled it.
You should listen to this with the volume on, obviously. I just hope it doesn't break your speakers:
The Korean call of Hyun-Jin Ryu’s first career HR is E V E R Y T H I N Gpic.twitter.com/ZTpFytTXL4— Subscribe to Cut4 on YouTube!!!! (@Cut4) September 23, 2019
That's the sound of pure, unfiltered bliss caused by something finally happening after years of waiting, watching Ryu swing out of his shoes time and time again. Despite all the swings, the homer remained elusive -- so once that ball sailed over the fence in right-center field, screaming on the microphone was the perfect reaction.
Ryu has been with the Dodgers since 2013, and he's had some highlights with the bat. He's hit eight doubles and one triple, as called by legendary announcer Vin Scully back in Ryu's first season in Los Angeles:
But he didn't have any home runs ... until Sunday.
Now that it's happened, the homer is cause for some significant celebration back home. In Korea, Ryu's something of a phenomenon both for his pitching, which put him on the map on an international level and sparked the Dodgers' interest in bringing him to MLB, and also for some hilariously amazing commercials.
Like this one for ramen, which features a Kershaw doppelganger:
And this one, for a bank:
He's a natural in front of the camera and, finally, at the plate as well.
Since he can now add 'home run hitter' to his resume of talents, we can only hope Sunday's offensive explosion inspires some new Korean TV spots, maybe for an ad selling antiperspirant? Since he had to run all the way around the bases -- which always seems exhausting.
That seems like it'd be pretty hilarious.
Adrian Garro joined MLB.com in 2016. Throughout his travels, both Bartolo Colon and Vin Scully have placed their hands on his shoulders. Not at the same time, though. That'd be amazing.