Eric Thames (37), who is considered the first best foreign player in KBO League history, has officially announced his retirement.
Thames announced on his SNS on the 16th (Korean time) that he would retire.
In particular, he drew attention by uploading his impressions in Korean for Korean fans and highlight videos of his NC Dinos days.
Thames said, “From worrying about retirement to signing with NC. All of this happened in a few days in 2013. I never thought I would fall in love with a country so quickly. I certainly had no idea how much fun it would be to play in the KBO. I really trained to the best of my ability for all the reasons to support you,” he remembered his time in Korea.
The relationship with Korea was established in 2014. After going back and forth between the major and minor leagues, Thames decided to go to Korea after receiving an offer from the NC Dinos, a new team in the KBO League.
After that, Thames’ performance was ‘bombing’ itself.
Until 2016, he played in NC and recorded a batting average of 0.349, 124 homers, 382 RBIs and 64 stolen bases in 390 KBO league careers for three years. He had a career on-base percentage of 0.451, a slugging percentage of 0.721, and an OPS of 1.172.
In the 2015 season, he was even MVP.
Thames succeeded in hitting 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in the KBO League that year. Thames had a batting average of 0.381, 47 homers, 140 RBIs, 130 runs, an on-base percentage of 0.498 and a slugging percentage of 0.790.
Naturally, he was selected as the MVP of the regular season.
The true value of Thames was realized after he returned to the major leagues.
His achievement is that he raised the status of the KBO league by performing outstandingly even after returning to the major leagues.
Thames returned to the MLB in 2017 when he signed with the Milwaukee Brewers. His accuracy didn’t match his KBO League days, but he had a successful 0.877 OPS season, hitting 31 home runs.
After that, he showed that even though his performance dropped little by little, even a native of the KBO league could challenge the major leagues again. He was nothing short of a pioneer who showed that the KBO League was the way back to the major leagues.
After Thames, the KBO League was considered a land of opportunity to challenge the major leagues again.
It can be said that Thames succeeded in the major leagues and proved that players who succeeded in the KBO league can also work in the major leagues. 스포츠토토
Recently, more and more active major leaguers and players in their prime are choosing the KBO league, and it cannot be denied that this is the Thames effect.
Players with various major league experiences, from the first-round pick in the major leagues to the players who competed for the 5th starter last season, are challenging the KBO League.
It can be said that he is walking along the path made by Thames.
Thames said, “Thank you so much for embracing me and the Dinos. No matter which KBO team you support, I love you all! I plan to visit Korea often, and if you see me, please do not hesitate to say hello!!”
Thames is now leaving baseball, but it seems that he cannot deny the thick footprint he left behind. Thanks to Thames, the KBO League has been able to recruit more high-level foreign players. Thames’ footsteps will be a great help to the KBO League for a long time.