Full Count (2023–…): Season 1, Episode 3 - Full Count - full transcript

Pressure for a wire-to-wire victory evokes nightmares of the past that begin to affect the team.

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(bat clacks)

YONGJIN: The people
of Incheon are grieving the loss

of a prestigious baseball team
known as the SK Wyverns.

Despite such a tragedy,

I'd like to sincerely thank
all Incheon citizens and baseball fans

for welcoming us, the Shinsegae Group.

(crowd cheering)

ANALYST: One out left
before the inning ends.

DONGHWA: The team was like my home.

Since I was young, I've only worn
one uniform all my baseball career.

I couldn't believe it.

KANGMIN: If I recall correctly,
we were at our prime in 2010.

(indistinct shouting)

A text message was all it took.

All it took was one A4-sized document
to switch to another team.

ANALYST: Bottom of the 13th inning
with two outs. The count is one and two.

(crowd chanting)

-It's a strikeout!
-(crowd roars)

The game is over!

The king is back!


SEYEONG: It was January 25th, 2021.

I didn't believe it at first.

The article wasn't first published
in the sports section.

The article was published
in business news.

The team staff reached out
to different people to find out the truth.

The only one who knew of this acquisition
was probably CEO Min Kyungsam.

The Shinsegae Group settled
the acquisition of SK Wyverns today

and signed an MOU.

With the discussion of a new team name,

it is expected that the acquisition
will progress quickly.

EP. 03

YONGJIN: Where is my cell phone?

Hello, everyone. This is Chung Yongjin.



...usually don't get nervous speaking
in front of a large crowd.

But this is making me very nervous today.

At the same time,
I'm overflowing with joy.

SEYEONG: The catchphrase they used
when SSG Landers was founded was

"baseball this world has never seen."

But the same goes for Chung Yongjin.

"An owner this world has never seen."


YONGJIN: If we unite and devote ourselves
to our consumers and fans,

I'm certain that SSG Landers
will become a baseball team

that makes dreams come true.

SEYEONG (gasps, sharp exhale):
People were dazed at first.

They knew he was active on social media,

but he was so much more proactive
than they imagined.

Even before the founding ceremony,

he went on a live social audio app
named Clubhouse

and invited the public to join him.

He revealed the team's motto,
mascot, and so on to the public.

With Shinsegae holding Landers Day,

the biggest discount event of the year
to celebrate the founding of the team,

Lotte countered with their own
discount event worth 100 billion won,

competing with their pride on the line.

SEYEONG: SSG said Lotte is failing
to make a connection

between its retail business
and the baseball team.

SSG Landers was certain
Lotte would try to compete with them.

They were waging a war.

REPORTER: Vice Chairman Chung
openly displayed his rivalry with Lotte

and said that he led Shin Dongbin,
the chairman of Lotte,

to visit Lotte's baseball game,
enjoying the rivalry.

-(overlapping yells)
-MAN 1: Yongjin!

MAN 2 (screams): Let's go!

-(man gasps)
-MAN 3: Thank you!

SEYEONG: Owners in the past were serious.

They quietly came to the stadium

to watch a game of baseball
from their seats.

That was the stereotype.
But he was different.

SHINSOO: He went to the locker room
and met with each of the players

to greet them.

DONGHWA: In a way, club owners
are great people we can't normally meet.

But he was so friendly
with all the physical contact.

He was more like a friend.

(crowd roars)

ANALYST: He pops it up far to the left!

This ball ends today's game!

WOOYOUNG: In the case of Chung Yongjin,

I heard that he used
to play second baseman back in college

through a distant acquaintance.

But no one has confirmed it.

But I'm guessing because
he used to play baseball himself,

I assume that his love
for his baseball team would be special.

And they host the Emart Cup,
an amateur baseball tournament.

WOOYOUNG: From that, we can tell his love
for baseball is extremely great.

(camera shutters clacking)

Just use the ones I pitch well in.


(coach grunts)

(coach gasps in amazement)

COACH: Even a curveball?

Should I pitch a curve?

COACH: I think
you're doing so much better.

-It's better than I expected.
-COACH: Doing great.


Swing and a miss!


Nice ball! Great.

Let's stop. If I pitch more...

COACH: You've improved from earlier.


ANNOUNCER: Vice Chairman Chung Yongjin

will start the game
by throwing the first pitch.

Please welcome him
with a big round of applause!

(crowd roars and applauds)

SEYEONG: The Shinsegae Emart Cup
National High School Baseball Tournament

was unprecedented

as it was the first tournament
sponsored and hosted by a pro team owner.

At first, the tournament budget was low.

But Chung Yongjin told them

to expand the budget
and to raise the prize money.

The tournament was hosted
to see who the best team was.

Chung Yongjin's intention
was that strong fundamentals will lead

to an increase
in professional baseball's popularity.

He thought pro baseball could only improve
in such an environment.

I believe that was his grand plan.


YONGJIN: I'm certain that our catchphrase,
"No Limits, Amazing Landers"

isn't just a dream, but a reality.

Personally, I have a strong feeling

that SSG Landers will play
over 144 games this year.

And I will be with all of you
until the final game.

(smoother scratches)

(crowd cheering)



WONHYONG: The fact that we
couldn't play in the postseason

because we lost the final game.

And I wanted to improve
what we lacked last year.

I was ambitious.

SEYEONG: In 2021,
SSG Landers had a really tough year.

They didn't have pitchers to play.

People were shocked
at the lacking number of pitchers.

Park Jonghun and Moon Seungwon

were the two pitchers
fans expected a lot from.

Coincidentally, both players underwent
Tommy John surgery and left the team.

ANALYST 1: That was...

-It seems like he's in pain.
-ANALYST 2: Right.


ANALYST 2 (groans): I'm not sure.

(analyst 2 sucks teeth)

-Where could his injury be...
-ANALYST 1: He drops down.

WOOYOUNG: In 2021, for SSG Landers,
every game was a struggle.

They always had
to take the game to the very end.

With everyone on their starting lineup
completely destroyed,

each game, a new player
would emerge and defend that game.

SEYEONG: Just get through May.

Just get through June.

Just get through July.

(crowd groans)

Every time someone
said things were too tough,

a few players' spirit and performance

would carry the team
to maintain a 50% win rate.

Until the very end, they stayed
around 50%, competing for a top-five spot.

I've been a pro player for a long time,
and I've only experienced a few games

where a single game
would decide everything.

In a way, I thought that this one game

would determine our performance
over the last 144 games.

(Korean national anthem plays)


ANALYST 1: The final game
of the 2021 KBO League.

KT Wiz and SSG Landers face off.

The fifth pitch pops up.

It's flying deep!

Will it go over the wall?

It lands next to the wall.

Choo Shinsoo advances to second.

He goes for third
thanks to the slow defense!

And he advances safely to third!

The third pitch skips off the bat
into the center.

He catches the ground ball!

And he gets the out on first base!

Crisis averted for So Hyeongjun!

(tense drumroll)

He makes contact,
and the ball lands in the center.

The count is full.
A hit and run for the runner.

He makes contact!

The ball is in play.

His second swing
lands the ball center-right!

Hit on his second swing!

Cho Hyeongwoo advances to third safely.

SSG Landers switches their pitcher.

The pitch is too low
and bounces off to the side!

The third baserunner runs home!
And he comes home safely!

Without an RBI,
KT Wiz manages to score a run!

ANALYST 2: They choose to bring
Kim Taehoon down from the mound.

A game of fate.

If the game ends like this,
instead of as a wild card,

Kiwoom Heroes may
be able to take the final spot.

ANALYST 1: He makes contact.
The ball travels far!

It keeps going! It's still going!

The ball goes far beyond the wall!

Jared Hoying!

ANALYST 2: He comes down
from the mound after allowing a home run.

They're switching pitchers again.

(crowd roaring)

(whistling and drumroll)

ANALYST 1: The batter who holds his own
against fastballs, Choo Shinsoo.

The count is one and two.
He swings and misses! A strikeout!

SHINSOO: I felt discouraged.

We lost the game,
and they had the momentum.

After the game ended...


I spoke with my teammates
as the most senior player.

It's hard to express everything
in words, but inside...

Each player was furious to the point
they couldn't explain in words.

SHINSOO: What I told
my teammates after that game was,

"The final game concludes our journey,

but there were
so many close games that we lost

while playing in 144 games this season.

We lost games we could've won."

I told them I want them to understand

that every game, every appearance,
is precious from today's experience.

That's the message I gave them,
but inside, I was furious.

I was losing my mind inside.


Looking back on that year,

SSG Landers didn't sign
with any free agents.

So their fans were wondering,
"Why aren't we recruiting free agents?"

They voiced their opinion.

But SSG was moving discreetly
with a well-thought-out plan.

That plan was non-FA multiyear deals.

SEYEONG: SSG Landers spent
a whopping 18 billion won to sign deals

with Moon Seungwon,
Park Jonghun, and Han Yooseom.

And there was the matter
of Choo Shinsoo's contract as well.

And he would extend his contract.

As such, the SSG Landers
spent a fortune on its players.

It would've been devastating for them
if they didn't perform well.





HOST: Kim Kwanghyun
is entering from the left.

(camera shutters clicking)

SEONGYU: I'd like to express my gratitude
to all the reporters here today.

There were many inquiries
regarding Kim Kwanghyun's salary.

I wanted to address it
before the event today.

Over four years,
he'll be paid 13.1 billion won,

with 2 billion won as incentives.
So in total, it'll be 15.1 billion won.

SEYEONG: As Chung Yongjin
watched baseball, he casually asked,

"Would our team be better
with Kim Kwanghyun?"

I think everyone agreed that

it'd be like having three mercenaries
on our team if Kwanghyun joins us.

SEONGYU: He was a player who was
already playing for the Major League.

We were afraid that it'd be inappropriate

to offer a deal to Kwanghyun.

SEYEONG: As soon as he went
to the Major League,

he won ten games as a pitcher.

People said
he'd be the Rookie of the Year.

Although he was a bit old
and from another league.


Fortunately, he thought that
he wanted to play baseball in Korea.

That's why we offered him
the highest salary of all time.

Hence, the 15.1 billion won.

KWANGHYUN: I'd like to thank the owner
and everyone who joined us today.

While I was playing in the States,

SSG Landers' performance
wasn't that great.

So the team spirit was quite down.

They kept saying that I
must join them for them to do well.

They really emphasized
that they needed me,

so I made up my mind to come here.

And I think my duty as a player

is not to disappoint anyone
of their expectations.

WONHYONG: I was thrilled.

I used to play with him,
and I coached him as well.

I hope I can work well
with him as his manager.

But the issue was that
our starting pitcher had a rough season.

I hoped that Kwanghyun
would act as a leader of the team.

-(player shouts)
-(bat thuds)

REPORTER: There was
a 90% chance of rain this morning,

-but it's okay in the afternoon.

REPORTER: We'll do that, then.

-If that's okay with you.

I can practice indoors in the morning.

SEYEONG: Kim Kwanghyun
doesn't walk on eggshells.

If you look
at his Major League statistics,

he was switched out
when he hadn't thrown many pitches,

so I think he had a difficult time
because of that.

-SEYEONG: I think he chose to sign

with SSG Landers
because he wanted to play baseball

in a more relaxed environment
in his style.


(soft chuckle)

-Two and three?
-CATCHER: Sure, two and three.

(ball thuds)

This happens when I look too low.

WONSEOK: I was disappointed.

Because Kwanghyun is my role model,

I had hoped that he'd play longer
in the Major League.

But I was thrilled at the same time.

When I heard he was coming back to Korea,
I looked forward to playing with him.

WONSEOK: He teaches you
technical parts of pitching,

but he focuses much more on teaching us
how to go against hitters.

SEYEONG: In the past, Kim Kwanghyun
used to be a cold and harsh senior.

But after his Major League experience,
he changed quite a bit.

SEYEONG: When we were about halfway
into the season,

there was a player
who kept following Kwanghyun around.

I asked them, "What's your relationship?"

And he told me that he
was in charge of Kim Kwanghyun.

It was memorable
how Kwanghyun took care of Wonseok.

Not only that, but I think he thought

that he should teach his juniors
when he came back to Korea.

(ball thuds)

-PLAYER 1: Defense!

-PLAYER 2: Great work, everyone.
-PLAYER 3: Good work.

Did you see them bunting? It's great.

You get an out with a single pitch.

Don't think too hard about it.
Don't try to get two outs

off of a single bunt.

When you pitch a ball
and get one, it's one out.

Don't rush yourself
to get the runner on third.

SEYEONG: I think this
is what SSG Landers wanted.

A leader of their dugout.

And a player who could share
their MLB experience with others.

-Yes, sir.
-Yes, sir.

DONGHWA: Everyone was in awe.

They couldn't believe such a great player
was playing with them.

I'm a coach, but what could I teach him
when he's already a great player?

Despite him being
one of the most senior players,

he always comes early to the stadium.

UISAN: He's always the first one
to do weight training.

He's the type that never changes.

SEYEONG: Choo Shinsoo's Gym.

Choo Shinsoo is the director
of his own gym.

Typically, players come
to work out around 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

But Choo Shinsoo comes in the morning.

He did so even when he
was in the Major League,

and even now, at SSG Landers.

Many thought, "Why is he always so early?"

SEYEONG: "Is that how
Major Leaguers do it?"

Then one by one, everyone started
to come in early like Choo Shinsoo.

After watching him for a season,

I found his fixed routines
very productive.

CHANGMIN: It could be
tiring to the players,

but because it became a routine,

it turned out that working out early
can help with fatigue, not worsen it.

Players like Choo Shinsoo
contribute to the team with great synergy.

DONGHWA: Every word he says
helps as much as practice.

Your swings became much more.

It improved a lot.

Before, you tried
to push through with power alone.

But with the techniques you've learned,
your BA is much higher.

SEYEONG: Choo Shinsoo's routine
is a textbook reference for baseball.

After Choo Shinsoo joined the team,

the fielders come into practice
much earlier than before.

Because the fielders come to work early,
the pitchers started copying them.

So now, everyone at SSG Landers
comes to practice early.

The players who were already
on the team changed as well.

YOOSEOM: Many of our players
came up with their own routines

that they stick to.

-PLAYER 1: How will you go?
-Where is the venue for Media Day?

-PLAYER 1: The Hyatt.

-PLAYER 1: The Hyatt.
-Which one?

-PLAYER 1: Seoul.
-Who else is going with me?

PLAYER 1: Choo Shinsoo.

KWANGHYUN (deep exhale):
Gosh, that's a lot of pressure.

SSG will be unbeatable.

-PLAYER 1: I know.
-We'll be number one.

Two Major Leaguers joined the team.

They became the frontrunners at once.

HOST: Let's introduce
the next team, the SSG Landers!

Shinsoo and Kwanghyun.

Manager Kim Wonhyong comes up to the stage

with the two former
Major League players by his side.

Along with Choo Shinsoo and Kim Kwanghyun,

the SSG Landers' lineup
this season is extraordinary.

SHINSOO: Because of our loss
in last year's final game,

we were disappointed that we
weren't able to make it to the playoffs.

While I was entering,

what caught my eye the most
and what I want to have the most

is that trophy on the left there.

KWANGHYUN: When I'm here again next year,

I wish to sit up front
where KT Wiz is sitting now.

HYEONGJUN: I won't allow anyone
to take our seats.

I will try my best to throw
my best pitches to maintain this seat.

(indistinct chatter)

PHOTOGRAPHER: Please look at the camera!

One, two, three!

-Let's go.
-Let's go!

(light music)

My final goal?

Well, winning the season.

I'm sure all the other teams

will aim for the trophy
as they train before the season.



(players yelling and grunting)

(machine beeps)

(machine clonks)

(in English)
Whoa, nice catch.


COACH (in Korean): One, two...


(ball thuds)

MYUNGSUK: We're screwed.

Why did he have to come to Korea?


I printed out the WAR of all the players
from the ten teams, including SSG.

The teams with the highest WAR
at the time we recruited Park Haemin

were KT Wiz and us.

But with Kim Kwanghyun's return,
the tables have turned.

That's when I thought
SSG Landers would do better.

And they did.

ANALYST 1: The opening game
is between SSG Landers and NC Dinos.

Many predict that these two teams
will have no trouble making it

deep into the postseason this season.

(crowd cheering)

ANALYST 1: He sends
the ball to the far center!

It keeps traveling!

He catches the ball!

SSG Landers was
an absolute beast in their first game.

SEYEONG: Font pitched
a nearly perfect game.

And it was a dramatic win as well.

This drove the players insane.

ANALYST 2: He pulls in and hits the ball!
It goes behind the left fielder!

-It goes over the left wall!
-ANALYST 3: The left fielder!

He catches the ball with a dive.

Choo Shinsoo's two-point RBI
puts them into the lead!

SEYEONG: I thought, "Wait.
What's happening? Are they getting lucky?"

ANALYST 3: Into the right,
and the right fielder catches it!

He slides for the catch!

(crowd clapping and cheering)

(upbeat music)

The fourth pitch!
Swing and a miss, strikeout!

The count is zero and two.

And he's struck out looking!


(crowd cheers)

ANALYST 4: He pulls in and hits it.
The shortstop fields it!

And he throws it to first for the out!

Swing, and it's a strikeout!

KYUNGEUN: Good job.

Two innings left, one run behind.

One inning left now.

KYUNGEUN: Just like that,
I pitched one inning at a time.

ANALYST 4: It flies high
and breaks the bat.

The second baseman catches it
and throws it to first.

It's a double play!

A round of applause from Noh Kyungeun.


He faced 15 hitters until the fifth,
and he managed to get all of them out.

A memorable returning game
for the ace, Kim Kwanghyun.

SEYEONG: In 2021, SSG Landers'
starting pitchers were struggling.

But in the first ten games of this season,
their starting pitcher wins seven games.

That's when the players thought
they have a chance at the cup.

With a reliable starting pitcher,
hitters started making contact.

With the pitchers performing better,
it positively influenced the hitters.

ANALYST 4: It flies to the right!

It goes over the wall!

In 19 years,

we finally have a team with eight
consecutive wins since the opening game!

It's a fair ball!

A potent ground ball!

It rolls to the fence.

I was at the prime
of my baseball career during that time.

YOOSEOM: It felt like
the ball was stopping in front of me.

ANALYST 4: He swings! It's a strikeout!

The game is over!
The score is four to two.

Kim Taekhyeong's sixth save of the season.

The SSG Landers pushes through
with ten wins since the opening game!


(crowd clapping and singing)

I didn't think that
we'd lose while playing the game.

Even if we were losing,
we'd end up winning in the end.

SEONGHAN: It was fun playing baseball.

It felt like we would win every day.

The atmosphere was amazing.

(all singing)

SEYEONG: They won
three consecutive games against KT Wiz.

That was the decisive factor for the team.

We have a lot of enemies.

So Hyeongjun, Ko Youngpyo, and so on.

SEUNGJIN: The hitters
had never seen such a pitch.

Even Choo Shinsoo, who played in MLB,
said the ball looked like it disappeared.

ANALYST: Choo Shinsoo is in the box.

Swing and a miss, strikeout! He's out!

YOOSEOM: When Ko Youngpyo
and So Hyeongjun pitched,

we always lost those games.

ANALYST 1: So Hyeongjun
doesn't have a single loss

-against SSG since his debut.
-ANALYST 2: Right.

SEYEONG: It was almost as if KT Wiz
was toying with SSG Landers.

Especially in 2021, SSG had 2 wins,
12 losses, and 2 draws against KT.

Some even said that it was SSG
who helped KT to win the season.

So they were traumatized by KT.

In the opening game, an away game at that,

and they won three consecutive
games against them.

COMMENTATOR 1: Today, we are also seeing
So Hyeongjun and Kim Kwanghyun,

two starting pitchers
who represent the league.

The old and new aces will face off
for their seventh win this season.

COMMENTATOR 2: That's right.
If you look at the two starting pitchers,

currently, they are
the two de facto aces of their teams.

Actually, So Hyeongjun does well
against the other teams as well.

KYUNGBAE: He's one of the pitchers
who represents Korean baseball.

YOOSEOM: Our team is weak
against So Hyeongjun.

And I'm the weakest one.

He reacted to the high pitch, but...

He misses the low pitch.

Another high pitch!
Swing, and it's a strikeout!

YOOSEOM: I always ask my batting coach,
"How am I supposed to outplay him today?"

And in the end,
he just said, "Just hit it."

KYUNGBAE: With a few games
repeating like this,

the pitcher was gaining confidence,
while the hitters were losing it.

At times, it felt like
they were getting more chances.

ANALYST (in English): Strike.

-(crowd whistling)
-(drums beating)

ANALYST (in Korean): He hits
the high pitch and his bat cracks.

But the ball is caught.

They say that you have to think simple
to hit Hyeongjun's pitches.

But that's easier said than done.

I hope things work out for him quickly
and he goes to the States.

(Jihoon laughs)

(crowd cheering)

SEYEONG: Since SSG was SK Wyverns,

when Kim Kwanghyun was healthy,
SSG Landers always performed well.

He said this while he was in camp

when he was with all
the pitchers and other players.

WOOYOUNG: "It's time for us to win."

ANALYST: He pitches a strike
with a two-and-one count.

The count is two and two.
He swings and misses. Strikeout!

The count is one and two.

He swings and misses. Strikeout!

SEYOUNG: This is Jung Seyoung
from The Munhwa Daily.

In the States, you were known as KK.

-But now you use your Korean name, so...

We have two non-Korean players,
Nova and Font, and they still call me KK.


ANALYST: Jang Sungwoo's strong suit
is his good eyes in the box.

He freezes against the curveball.

Kim Kwanghyun ends the inning quickly
against three hitters.

Because Kwanghyun is getting older now,
he controls his pitching tempo.

MINSIK: Back in the day,
he used to overwhelm

the hitters with his pitching power.

But these days,
he pitches curves and so on.

SEONWOO: Entering his age now,

the thought of throwing
all types of pitches at 150 km/h

naturally goes away.

You learn to take away
the hitter's timing with class.

You become a seasoned pitcher

who knows when to throw
a pitch with full force.

SEYEONG: When Kim Kwanghyun
first came back to the SSG Landers,

he said he'll beat KT Wiz no matter what,

and our results against them
will change now that he's here.

He basically declared war against them.

I think that's what makes him special.

Sometimes confidence
can lead to arrogance.

WONHYONG: But the fact
that he's showing it through his actions

says a lot about him.

ANALYST: Although starting pitcher
Kim Kwanghyun threw a lot of pitches,

he comes down from the mound
with another quality start today,

allowing only a single run
over six innings.

WONHYONG: Our starting lineup
is performing well this season.

In a way, I believe
Kwanghyun joining our team

had a big influence
on the other pitchers on the team.

Simply put, there's a synergy
with the other starting pitchers.


(crowd roars)

ANALYST: He hits the first pitch!

It goes over the wall!

Against the new pitcher, Kim Minsu,
SSG Landers takes back the lead!

The home run slugger,
Choi Jeong's walk-off home run!

SSG Landers takes the win
with a one-run lead.

While on a ten-game winning streak,
SSG's starting pitchers' ERA was at 1.88.

They were the first in the league.

SEYEONG: Almost every starting pitcher
recorded a quality start.

They played six innings
and allowed less than three runs.

I remember that
they played at least five innings.

KWANGHYUN: I wish they'd remove the ERA
from the scoreboard like in the old days.

Because I can see it, it makes me think.

REPORTER: Do your ERA stats
change mid-game?

-Of course.
-MAN: Yes.

KWANGHYUN: Gosh, you're such a boomer.

You old-timer. Your BA changes,
as well as your ERA.

It kind of gets on my nerves.

It'd be weird if it didn't.

And stop saying things like,
"A record has been broken after 12 years."


Although they tried their best in 2021,
they didn't make it to the postseason.

But all that regret just vanished
with the ten-game winning streak.

SEYEONG: In 2021, many requested
for Chung Yongjin to start the game

with the first pitch.

And he answers back to the request

and said, "I'll throw the first pitch
if we win ten games in a row."

It only took a year
for this to actually happen.

I've been a baseball reporter
for 16 years.

But I've never seen the owner
receive such a big round of applause.

That's when I realized
professional baseball had changed.

He really is an owner
that is one of a kind.

That's how I felt.

YONGJIN: It would be crazy.


Can I show them the shower?

MAN: Yes, sir.

YONGJIN: This is where you can relax.
Managers love the sauna.

MAN: I see.

GUYEON: The team's clubhouse
was a Major-League-level clubhouse.

It was unheard of.

He made aggressive investments.

I was also a baseball player,

and I couldn't approach
this sport as a business,

when I was supposed to.

GUYEON: SSG Landers has the biggest crowd
at their home games.

That's also unprecedented.

I think it sends out a message
to the other teams.

I was actually surprised
to see such a big crowd

despite the game being on a weekday.

SHINSOO: I'd like to thank
all of you for coming.

Our humble players
are trying their best to play well,

so please root for us until the end.


(crowd cheering)


(light music)


WONHYONG: Park Jonghun's rehab
is going well according to plan.

REPORTER: Will he be back
in the latter half?

WONHYONG: Maybe a bit
into the latter half?

We haven't come up with a specific plan
with the second team yet.


(in English)
You can't be afraid of that ball.

When you go up there,
you can't be afraid of that ball.

COACH (in English): You've got
to be ready for that ball.

TRANSLATOR (in Korean):
When you see an opportunity,

you have to be ready for the ball.


REPORTER: Seungwon seems okay today.

WONHYONG: Yes, he threw 33 pitches
over 2.2 innings today.

We don't have the details yet,

but anyway,
we are planning to make him throw

around 80 pitches in the second team.

JONGHUN: I've been recovering
for about ten months now.

And I've never had to rest
from pitching in games

for such a long time.

I wonder if this is right,
and I'm feeling pretty dumbfounded.

JONGHUN: My heart says that
I want to jump in and start playing.


STAFF: Would you like
to stay laying here forever?

The reason I'm using
the dorm facilities here is...

-MAN: Is?
-...so that I don't come back.


What I used here, I'll throw away here.


(door squeaks)

REPORTER: Will you keep playing
Noh Kyungeun as a starting pitcher?

WONHYONG: I have no choice
but to play him as he pitched so well.


He will be taking the mound
as the starting pitcher in the next game.

It makes me happy.

I'm sure the other pitchers would agree,

but the fact that I'm on that mound
makes me feel alive.

This is our first time working
with Noh Kyungeun.

SEONGYU: Last year, many
of our starting pitchers were injured.

So we pursued recruiting a pitcher
from all nine other teams,

and he was one of those pitchers.

And he exceeded our expectations
since the opening game.

KYUNGEUN: When I left the team last year,

it gave me the time to reflect on myself.

I had hopped from team to team.


After the first half, I received a notice.

I realized that I couldn't
stay longer even if I wanted to.

So I thought that I should change up
my pitching style and try once again.

SEYEONG: He was desperate
to play baseball.

He even joined a team
named Geelong-Korea to recuperate.

It's a team
in the Australian Baseball League.

If he had failed there,
there would've been no future for him.

No more baseball.

ANALYST: He takes the mound
against Lotte Giants, his former team.

He respectfully greets the fans.

Today's game will now begin.

KYUNGEUN: The only thought I had
in mind was to pitch hitters out.

Whether I throw four or five innings,
I felt that it was my duty to fill in

for the other pitchers who cannot be here,
as our team is currently in first place.

The only thought in my mind
is that I have to play my role.

ANALYST 1: The pitch that came high
near the border of the zone

was declared a ball.

The bases are full.

ANALYST 2: When he pitched a walk
against the final hitters

-is when he started losing tempo.
-ANALYST 1: Right.

No one seems to be warming up
in the dugout just yet.

Ji Siwan holds back
on the first two pitches.

ANALYST 2: He needs to go
for a full swing now.

ANALYST 1: Two and two.

He makes contact right
into the pitcher's mitt!

Noh Kyungeun...

YOOSEOM: Because players
get hyped up when the game goes well,

injuries happen
when they are least expecting it.

ANALYST 1: It looks like he's injured.

-ANALYST 2: The ball had a lot of power.
-ANALYST 1: That's right.

The ball was caught
as it grazed his index and middle fingers.

The tips of the fingers
are fragile parts of the body,

so he needs to get them checked
as soon as possible.

ANALYST 2: That's right.

There are so many players
resting right now.

REPORTER: Then how about
when the resting players come back?

WONHYONG: When the resting players
recover and return,

I was planning to control
their tempo at the right time.

(dramatic music)

Looking at the four games
after the first half of the season,

this question was on everybody's mind.

Will SSG Landers
be able to go wire-to-wire?

Now that we've come this far,

I felt a sense of duty
to lead my team to go wire-to-wire.



(loud clonk)

INTERVIEWER: Last year, there
were many players who were resting,

and the team received lots of investments.

The team even signed
non-FA multiyear deals with a few players.

How do you feel about all that?

First of all, it feels great.

It means that people are interested in us
and that the owner cares about us.

And, indeed, the investments
and the attention are not in vain

because we are repaying them
with better performance.

Because our team is receiving
so much more than the other teams,

it makes us more confident.

And we get discounts at Starbucks.

(interviewer laughs)

CASHIER: How do you want to pay?

With this, please.

CASHIER: So you're using SSG Pay.

-Do you also have reward points?

INTERVIEWER: There's only a one-and-a-half
game difference with Kiwoom,

so you may feel like you're being chased.

That's why yesterday's game
against Kia was really important.

How do you feel about yesterday's game,
and how do you think you did?

And do you have any regrets?

First of all, we won the game,
so I'm happy about that.


But I didn't do much.

So I don't feel so great.

ANALYST 1: The bases are loaded.


The runners are on every base.

A hit to the right!

Kim Sungmin goes home
and Na Sungbum stops on third base.

The bases are full again!

(crowd chanting)

ANALYST 2: They must show full focus
when they have momentum.

ANALYST 1 (in English): Two strikes.

(in Korean) Into the right field.
Jeon Uisan fields it.

-ANALYST 2: He drops it!

Kia manages to score another run!

ANALYST 1: He should've thought
to field it and toss it to first base.

But I think he thought
of going to first base himself.

When Kia plays against us,
something big always happens.

So we stay a bit more focused.

JIHOON: In today's game,

Kwanghyun is the starting pitcher,
so we must win today's game.

(crowd roaring)

ANALYST 1: Kim Kwanghyun
will attempt to strike Socrates out.

Socrates hasn't had an RBI lately,
so he'll try his best to make a hit.

ANALYST 2: That's right.

The count is one and two.

The Kia fans are rooting for Socrates.

He hits the tip of the curveball.
It's a foul.

(suspenseful music)

The first curveball was unstable,

and this one was a bit high too.

It looks like Kim Kwanghyun is expressing

-that he should've thrown it lower.
-ANALYST 2: You're right.

(analysts gasp in horror)

(crowd clamoring)

(analyst exclaims)

(tense music)

KWANGHYUN: I shouted in surprise too.

The ball was flying to his face.

As soon as I hit him, I felt so sorry.

I was personally sorry to Socrates.

WONHYONG: I was sorry
to his team as well.

(crowd roaring)

UMPIRE: Kim Kwanghyun,
you're ejected from the game.

ANALYST 2: Kim Kwanghyun
gets ejected for that headshot.



(tense music)

KWANGHYUN: Right after I pitched
the headshot, I felt really bad.

It just kept lingering in my mind.

That's why I had trouble
pulling myself together.

I'd never pitched a headshot before.

It was my first time.

It had never happened to me before.

Most people thought,

"How can a pro player
pitch to the hitter's head?"

CHANGMIN: Ever since that day,
Kim Kwanghyun had a hard time.

The media portrays him as a tough guy

who'd be able
to easily overcome such incidents.

But concerning his mistakes and errors,
he's also the type to reflect on them.

I'd always thrown inside pitches well

-against left-handed hitters.
-(pat clanks)

And I've rarely pitched a deadball.

I thought, "What if I can't pitch inside
against left-handed hitters anymore?"

Of course, I was worried about Socrates.

But as the days went by,
I was also worried about myself.

WONHYONG: I thought that the pitcher
would've been affected as well.

So the next day, I spoke to him.

He said he felt bad
for pitching a headshot,

but he was fully determined
to overcome the situation.

So we didn't speak for too long.

-REPORTER: Did you lose some weight?

Well, yes, I think I lost a bit.

REPORTER: Your thighs are a bit...

WONHYONG: They were always like this.

REPORTER: It's not easy
being the first-place team.

They have their own worries.

REPORTER: Come on.

WONHYONG: Others would bad-mouth us
if we say that.


REPORTER: The second-place team
is catching up at a terrifying speed.

Do you feel uneasy about it?

WONHYONG: I'd be lying to say
that it's not a concern.

It was the first time
the blood vessels in my eyes burst.

I think we're maintaining our ranking
as our players overcome these challenges

and try their best in every game.

In the case of Manager Kim Wonhyong,

I think he's extremely focused
on each upcoming game.

He accepts the inevitable losses.

But if he thinks
the game could've been won

with a little bit more effort,

he sometimes
has trouble accepting the loss.

I think his nickname, "Little Prince,"
doesn't suit him anymore.

SSG Landers were traditionally
weak during the summer.

SEYEONG: Every game
was a struggle for them.

It was a war.

ANALYST 1: The first baseman
fields it and throws to second,

but it hits the runner!

The runner is hit! The runner is hit!

(drum beats)

The ball goes between first and second.

ANALYST 2: Because Jeon Uisan
wasn't confident in his defense...

JONGHUN: Everyone tried
too hard to make plays,

which made things worse.

Because we were too desperate
to protect our lead and to make plays,

we failed to seize opportunities
and made errors.

And the pitchers started losing control.

SEYEONG: They had many internal meetings.

In order to overcome this slump,
they discussed many strategies.

My error back then allowed
the other team to score.

I really felt sorry to our team.

Our performance got weaker

because the players
were going through a difficult time.

REPORTER 1: You took Jeon Uisan
out of the starting lineup.

Are you giving him a day off?

Yes, he's getting a rest day.

(Wonhyong chuckles)

REPORTER 2: Why do you
let him rest when he's getting paid?


He's already been paid his salary.

WONHYONG: There are many more games left
to play.

CROWD (chanting): Choo Shinsoo!

ANALYST 1: Choo Shinsoo.

No hits from him today.
He's at zero for three today.

And the count is two and two.

ANALYST 2: He pulls in
and hits the inside pitch!

The ball is in play on the right.

The ball rolls to the fence.

He's going for second!

On second! On second! On second!

He's out on second! He's out!

ANALYST 1: I think he sprained his finger.

ANALYST 2 (exclaims) : Did he get injured?

ANALYST 1: His fingers are below his feet.

ANALYST 2: He rammed his finger
into the spikes.

SEYEONG: SSG Landers was saying,
"Why do we never get big wins?"

"Why do we never have easy games?"

(indistinct chatter)

WONHYONG: The top three teams
continued showing great performances.

I must stay on my toes for every game.

SEYEONG: They faced a challenge
because of their closing pitcher.

REPORTER: I read an article about you
having trouble choosing your closer.

I've never heard of such an article.

I'm going to look up who wrote it.


I don't know.

REPORTER: So you've never contemplated it?

You didn't consider using Font
as a closing pitcher?

WONHYONG: He came in at the last minute.

Watch the game properly!

(crowd shouting)

Manager Kim Wonhyong

has been ejected from the game.

(crowd jeering)

-REPORTER: This is quite the pressure.
-WONHYONG: Excuse me?

REPORTER: It's quite the pressure.

WONHYONG: I don't think
I have much to say.


(tense music)

With second place catching up to us,

everyone was telling me
that they were reminded of 2019.


(crowd yells)

ANALYST 1: The shortstop fields
the ground ball and throws it to first.

And safe on first base!

(in English)
Two balls, no strike.

ANALYST 2: He hits the third pitch.

The left fielder slips!

CHANGMIN: We were doing great at first,
then as they closed in on us,

we had a poor finish to the season.

ANALYST 2: He pulls in
and hits the second pitch.

The shortstop fields it
and throws it to first!

-ANALYST 1: He got it.
-ANALYST 2: And he's out!

The game is over!

The Doosan Bears win the game
with a score of six to four!




People would normally call this trauma.

But the one that really held us together
was Choo Shinsoo.

He just said one thing.
"I wasn't there back then."

When I was feeling down back then,

Choo Shinsoo said
that a player shouldn't drop his head

in a baseball stadium.

It's not like they committed a crime.

But they were all looking down
at the ground like sinners.

So I told them not to drop their heads.

I also said they should act
more confident instead.

I spoke a lot with the younger players.

I believe that the younger players

find words of consolation very meaningful.

Back when I was a young player,
my whole baseball career,

my mood, and my attitude,

they all changed
thanks to the power of words.

ANALYST 1: With the recent
four-game winning streak,

SSG Landers has recorded 50 wins
in this league.

You can see the owner,
Chung Yongjin, is with them today.

He visited to celebrate
Manager Kim Wonhyong's birthday today.

ANALYST 2: I don't think
there is another owner

-who would do this.
-ANALYST 1: Tell me about it.

He visited the stadium
to congratulate the manager's birthday.

ANALYST 2: It's their hamburger
franchise's "burger day" as well.

ANALYST 1: Last Sunday,
he visited Landers Field as well.

He's an owner who truly loves baseball.

SHINSOO: My timing was a bit slow,

and there was damage accumulated
from previous games.

For a certain period,

I was hitting the ball well,
but it always ended up getting caught.

It went right in front of the outfielders.

CROWD (chanting): Choo Shinsoo! Home run!

Choo Shinsoo!

(crowd roaring)

-SHINSOO: Was that in the zone?
-UMPIRE: It was a ball.

That day, during my first appearance,
I hit the ball well.

ANALYST 1: A great defensive shift.

ANALYST 2: There was no way
to penetrate this defensive.

What you just saw
was a perfectly-executed defensive shift.

(crowd gasps)

ANALYST 1: The ball travels far!

Peters tracks the ball
and catches it with a slide!

-ANALYST 2: He caught it!
-ANALYST 1: DJ Peters!

SHINSOO (sighs):
I was so frustrated with myself.

I went into the dugout
and found a place that was out of sight,

and I was venting my anger.

ANALYST 1: That's Choo Shinsoo's wife
and his daughter.

ANALYST 2: That's right.

(Shinsoo sighs)

SHINSOO: I was in my locker room
when I got a text message.

So I checked my phone.

And it said,
"I'm your number one fan, Dad."

It didn't matter how I performed.

She said she trusted me no matter what.

My daughter sent me those messages.

I didn't really think of much of it.
I wasn't in a great mood,

so I put my phone down
and went out to play again.


ANALYST 1: He has pitched two outs.

Next up is Choo Shinsoo.

ANALYST 2: The game
isn't working out today

-for Choo Shinsoo.
-ANALYST 1: Right.

ANALYST 2: All his hard-hit balls
were either stopped by defensive shifts

or amazing defensive plays
by the fielders.

-UMPIRE: Strike!
-ANALYST 1:The second pitch is a strike.

You can see his family here.

It looks like they are looking forward
to seeing him hit a big one here.

(drum beating)

CROWD (chanting): Choo Shinsoo!

ANALYST 1: He pops it up far to the left!

This ball ends today's game!


A walk-off home run!

Choo Shinsoo!

(crowd cheering)


Choo Shinsoo puts an end
to this epic game!

A walk-off solo home run!

REPORTER: Since Texas,

you haven't competed
for first place until this season.

The most difficult thing
about being in first place

is that you have no way up.
The only way is down.

That's why it's so pressuring
and difficult to protect that position.

But there's a reason
why we're in first place.

And all our players know
why we stand firmly in the lead.

I think that's why we've stayed
in the lead for such a long time.

If maintaining first place
becomes too easy, you become arrogant.

But right when we started
becoming arrogant,

Kiwoom and LG chased us down.

We'll talk about the away team,
LG Twins, to start.

They are on a six-game winning streak.

LG Twins is not looking back
and only pushing forward.

DONGHWA: Although our pitchers
try their best, they aren't perfect.

But LG Twins has strong pitchers.

LG Twins becomes stronger
as the season progresses.

LG Twins is
on a seven-game winning streak.

The games were so perfect
that the plays and the results

were so satisfying to watch.

ANALYST 1: You can tell
that they have momentum.

If you look at how
the players play the game,

it feels like they know
what they are supposed to do

to win the game.

REPORTER: Please be honest.

What do you think is the probability
of LG Twins becoming the first place?

I believe it's very possible.

Our one and only goal
is to get to first place.

We hope to win more games
in the future and...

There was a 70% chance
that LG Twins would chase us down.

Until the end of the season,
they aggressively chased us.

They were only
two and a half games behind.

ANALYST 1: Kim Kwanghyun
is the only player

who has recorded an ERA
under two this season.

ANALYST 2: Right.

Kim Kwanghyun, the ace of the team

who must save his team from this crisis.

-(crowd chanting)
-(drums beating)

-ANALYST 1: It's an amazing feat.
-ANALYST 2: Yes.

ANALYST 3: The breaking ball
is in the zone! Strikeout!

KWANGHYUN: My personal performance aside,

I thought about how
we could win this season.

(crowd erupts)

And I concluded that we should not
give away this momentum to them.

(all clapping and cheering)

ANALYST 1: The bases are loaded
with an out for LG Twins.

And Oh Jihwan is in the box.

ANALYST 2: Oh Jihwan only had a single hit

against Kim Kwanghyun
out of five appearances this season.

-But that one hit was a home run.
-ANALYST 1: That's right.

He hits the first pitch.

The ball keeps traveling!

And it goes over the wall!

The ball goes beyond the wall!
A grand slam!

A grand slam by Oh Jihwan!

ANALYST 3: Thanks to the homer,
his ERA is now in the twos.

KWANGHYUN: Of course, I regret it.

There's nothing I can do about it.

I think of it as a tradeoff
for our team's win.

ANALYST 1: The starting pitchers
are carrying the weight of their teams

on their shoulders.

SSG Landers is still in first place,

but we recently saw that
their later innings are a bit shaky.

ANALYST 2: That's why in today's game,
the team spirit must change.

I think the bullpen must
become more cheerful.

To make that happen, Font must pitch
as many innings as possible.

Many baseball fans are interested

in whether he'll record 200 hits today.

The shortstop fields it very well!

He throws it to first.

And he's out on first.
That makes three outs.

Wilmer Font coming in.


Kiwoom and Kim Sungjin

are in a crisis
with bases loaded and no outs.

The chance to finish off the game

goes to Han Yooseom, the fifth hitter,
with multi hits today.

He hits the second pitch!

It's gone over!

It pops up high into the deep
and far side of the stadium!

A grand slam!

ANALYST 2: Han Yooseom
saves his team from the crisis.

It's true that his team
was having a difficult time.


ANALYST 2: He showed us
the proper way to end a game

as the captain of the team.



REPORTER 1: Last time, you said
you have no idea how you'd feel.

How did you feel when you heard
that you had won the season?

WONHYONG: Well, I was watching
the news live on TV.

-REPORTER 2: Where were you?
-WONHYONG: At the hotel.

-REPORTER 2: In your room?

I was watching the entire time.

REPORTER 3: Wouldn't it be better
to do it after it's over?

-The other team will be there too.
-It'd be weird to celebrate after we lose.

-No, we already... It's fine.
-REPORTER 3: Is that okay?

REPORTER 4 (laughs): Since you'll win.


SHINSOO: Who said we'll lose?

They're all going to clap.

After that, the players
will share how they feel...

(indistinct chatter)


-Good work.


SHINSOO: The KBO has been
in existence for 40 years

and this has never happened before.

And to my knowledge,
this has only happened five times

in the 100-year history of the MLB.

I didn't get my shirt.

CHANGMIN: It's over there in the front.
It says "wire-to-wire" on it.

SEYEONG: This year, SSG Landers left
an exceptionally striking record.

There were many challenges
that they had to face.

They went wire-to-wire,

so on the outside, it looks
like they won the season without a hitch.

But it wasn't easy.

Our team got the very first
wire-to-wire victory

in the 40-year history of the KBO.

We will prepare well for the Series

and try our best
to repay our fans with a bigger gift.

SEYEONG: Chung Yongjin

is the one who calls
the shots at SSG Landers.

All the investments
are made with his approval.

And he didn't hesitate
to invest in his team.

He would've spent

roughly over 40 billion won
over the past two years for the team.

Chung Yongjin's goal was clear
from the beginning.

Winning the regular season
and the Korean Series.

To that end, he made large investments
and supported his players.


YONGJIN: We have another
big challenge up ahead.

Are you all confident?


If we don't win the Korean Series,
we're going to look like fools.

Isn't that true?

If we fail to conquer the Korean Series

after writing a piece
of unprecedented history,

I think it's going to be
a boring and disappointing year.

Everyone, we will be victorious.

Let's write a new history
for postseason baseball.

I believe that it's possible.

And thank you very much
for a great year, everyone.

Thank you.

HOST: Please give them a big hand.

Let's go!

-All right!
-All right!

HOST: Wow. All right.

Let's all hold our glasses up!

(hopeful music)

HOST: Together. Manager!

-PLAYERS: Let's go!




(hopeful music continues)






(upbeat music)

SUTTON (in English): When the time comes,
it's kind of a mixed bag of emotions.

I thought my wife would cry more than me.


(crowd exclaims)

SUTTON: On the other hand,
it's almost like a big, deep breath of...

I'll come and hang out
in my casual clothes.

If we start falling behind,
we won't be able to keep up.

I haven't given up.

I keep saying this,
but I haven't given up.

ANALYST (in English): Giants take off!

(in Korean)
It's a walk-off home run!