When you have not much better to do at a time like this, your mind can wander freely thinking about simpler times of Dodger baseball. Today my mind went to… “you should watch Hee-Seop Choi’s home run derby round! … when was that again? It was that long ago? Where is he now?”
As we all stay safe at home, reminisce about a true Dodgers legend*.
2005 was the year of Hee-Seop Choi at Dodger Stadium. If you’re old enough, you remember the chants. You remember the three home run game… and you might remember his iconic Home Run Derby performance.
Long before Joc Pederson was cranking bombas on the big stage, Dodger batters had often struggled in derby appearances. The first three appearances by Dodgers were Hall of Famer Mike Piazza in 1993 and 1994, and 2017 arrestee Raul Mondesi in 1996. Over those three seasons, those two batters combined to hit a whopping… one home run…
Hee-Seop Choi did not have big shoes to fill, but he stepped up for Los Angeles.
With 5 home runs, Choi destroyed past Dodger displays but didn’t come close to Phillies star Bobby Abreu’s 41 total home runs in the ’05 derby.
After that All-Star week, Choi’s legend diminished as he cranked only 2 more homers for the season on a terrible Dodgers team (71-91) before never playing Major League Baseball again. He finished his playing career in Korea, playing 8 more seasons across 9 years and retiring as a 36-year-old.
Now you know more about Hee-Seop Choi than you planned to today.
The use of the word “legend” is purely in jest, but if you were around to witness that 2005 season, you would understand its use.
I literally thought of Hee-Seop Choi and this Home Run Derby not even a week into no baseball… help us all.