Meet Hong Sung-heon: the biggest-swinging bat-flipper in South Korea.
A designated hitter for the Doosan Bears, Hong recently whipped out what may be the two most emphatic bat flips you’ll ever see in a single game.
YouTube user MyKBONet (h/t Sean Newell of Deadspin) compiled video of the flips, which came off monstrous home run swings against the Lotte Giants. Behold the supple grip, the follow-through and—above all else—the powerful snap of the wrist that sends the bat out of frame.
As Newell writes, either of these flips may stand to be the best of 2014.
“Dan, the guy who puts these videos together, passed this video along…[he] said these are the clubhouse leaders for Bat Flips Of The Year.” Newell writes. “We are in complete agreement.”
Clearly, Hong is a natural, but the best part may be his story. Hong is 37 years old. He’s been the “top catcher” in South Korea for over a decade and played on the bronze-medal-winning South Korea team from the 2000 Olympics. Even better, he used to play for Lotte (the team he pieced these home runs off of).
In other words, Hong is a bit like the South Korean Mike Piazza—if Piazza ended his career bat-flipping like Yasiel Puig. Unlike aging American stars, this man doesn’t put his head down and ignore the ball. No Derek Jeter “been there before” humbleness exists in Hong, and I love it.
He swings for the fences and flips for the dugout. The man has style.
On the Twitters.