Lotte Giants infielder Noh Jin-hyuk celebrated his first career All-Star Game appearance with his trademark loud mouth. It was even more meaningful because it was his 34th birthday.
Noh was named to the Dream All-Star Best 12 shortstop team at the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO All-Star Game at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on Friday.
Noh became a free agent for the first time in his career after the end of last season, moving from NC to Lotte for a four-year total of 5 billion won. This year, he was Lotte’s starting shortstop, batting .254 with three home runs, 26 RBIs, seven doubles, and an OPS of .708 in 57 games, helping the team to a fifth-place finish in the first half.
He also received strong support from fans in the All-Star Fan Vote. He beat out fellow Dream All-Star contenders Park Sung-hyun of SSG, 꽁머니사이트 Kim Sang-soo of KT Wiz, Lee Jae-hyun of Samsung Lions, and Park Kye-beom of Doosan Bears to earn a spot in the top 12.
Noh Jin-hyuk enjoyed a star-studded feast after missing out on a single All-Star game since his first team debut in 2013 until last year. Born on July 15, 1989, he received a big gift from his fans on his 34th birthday.
The Lotte front desk also prepared a small gift for him. Noh appeared at the pre-event fan signing session wearing a sash with the words “Brithday Boy” on it.
“I came out to the baseball field and the club gave me this belt to wear. I feel like a Miss Korea,” he joked before adding, “My wife really wanted to see me play in the All-Star Game, but the fans voted for me, so I’m here. I’m honored to play in the All-Star Game, even though it’s late.”
He also made no secret of his desire to take a shot at the All-Star Game MVP, Mr. All-Star. Although this is his first time playing in an All-Star Game, he is determined to take home the MVP trophy on his birthday.
“I’ve always had good memories on my birthday, and I want to enjoy a little bit of that energy in the All-Star Game,” said Noh. “It’s always scary for people who don’t know anything to play boldly. I’m going to try my best in my first All-Star Game,” he said.
“I’ve just recovered from a side injury, so I think I’ll try to make an impact rather than a home run, but I’ll try my best to hit a home run, too, because it can happen.”