During the 2014 offseason, the Pittsburgh Pirates made one of the more aggressive moves in recent team history. The team landed prized International player Jung Ho Kang from the KBO. Kang had a lot of success in his short time with the Bucs.
At the time it seemed like a reach to think that the Korean Baseball League. But the rhetoric started that the success between the two sides could make for a long-term pipeline of talent in the KBO. Since then there have been multiple Korean-born players to join the Pittsburgh Pirates Organization including the team's most recent top International signing Jun Seok Shim.
This year the Pittsburgh Pirates opened the season with. Ji Man Choi and Ji Hwan Bae on their roster, both being Korean-born players. They made history by becoming the first two Korean teammates to homer back-to-back in a Major League Baseball game. To the everyday fan that may not seem all that relevant, but it is obviously a big deal.
The moment was widely talked about across social media and the two players were very vocal about the moment too. In fact, the Pittsburgh Pirates Social Media team caught up with both Choi and Bae to get more insight on the home runs.
Here is Ji Man Choi and Ji Hwan Bae speaking about their historical back to back home runs:
Obviously, this moment means a lot to both of them. It is a historic moment not just for the two players but for Korea as well. While there are many countries that are well represented in Major League Baseball, the next wave of talent could be coming from Korea. Hopefully, the Pittsburgh Pirates can continue and bring in that talent.