When asked about the possibility of playing in the KBO again next year, Eric Peddy (30-NC Dinos), the “foreigner’s bully pulpit” who reviewed this year’s KBO League, said, “Of course,” and left the door open for all possibilities. It’s a statement that should make the other nine teams in the league nervous.
Pedi took home five trophies, including MVP, at the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Awards Ceremony held at the Westin Chosun Seoul Grand Ballroom on Sunday.
Pedi was at his best this season, starting 30 games and posting a 20-6 record with a 2.00 ERA. Ranking first in both ERA and wins and strikeouts (209), Pedi became the first player in 37 years to reach 20 wins and 200 strikeouts since Sun Dong-yeol (Hae-tae) in 1986. He was the first foreign player to achieve both 20 wins and 200 strikeouts. Previously, the pitching triple crown had only been conquered by Sun Dong-yeol (1986-1989-1990-1991), Ryu Hyun-jin (2006), and Yoon Seok-min (2011).굿모닝토토 주소
On the day, Pedi won the Triple Crown for ERA, wins, and strikeouts, as well as the newly created Pitcher of the Year and MVP awards. Pedi received 102 out of 111 total votes (91.9 percent of the vote) from the press corps to win the MVP award over Noh Si-hwan (6 votes-Hanwha Eagles), Hong Chang-ki (2 votes-LG Twins), and Choi Jung (1 vote-SSG Landers). Pedi took home the trophy and the MVP prize of 10 million won. Pedi won a total of 21 million won in prize money for his three pitching awards, as well as the defense award and MVP.
It was only the eighth time in KBO history that a foreign player has won the regular season MVP. Previously, Tyrone Woods (1998), Daniel Rios (2007 – Doosan Bears), Eric Thames (2015 – NC), Dustin Nippert (2016), Josh Lindblom (2019 – Doosan), Mel Rojas Jr. (2020 – KT Wiz), and Ariel Miranda (2021 – Doosan) won MVP honors.
In the past, many foreign players have been unable to attend the awards ceremony due to returning to their home countries after the season. As a result, they were able to accept their awards via video. William Cuevas (KT), who won the winning percentage award, and Guillermo Heredia (SSG Landers), who won the defense award for left wingers, also received their awards via video.
Pedi, who had previously returned to the U.S. after completing his fall baseball schedule, flew into Korea on Sept. 26 with his father, Scott Pedi, for the ceremony. “I’m unbelievably happy,” Pedi said after taking the microphone. I want to thank the KBO league itself, and I’m honored to be here in NC. I was able to have a good season. My mom, dad, brother, and girlfriend came all the way from Korea to support me. My dad even came to the awards ceremony, so that was a big support.”
“If it wasn’t for my teammates, I wouldn’t be here today. I want to say that we are brothers until the end, and I want to dedicate this honor to the city of Changwon. No matter where I go, Changwon will always be a second home for me,” Pedi concluded. Pedi also broke down in tears when his team was eliminated in Game 5 of the playoffs, the final game of the postseason. “Now (the moderator) is making me cry again,” Pedi said of his tears, “I was emotional because the team was eliminated. All my teammates are my brothers, so I think it was emotional.”
“When I heard I was named MVP, my first thought was of course my family,” Pedi told reporters after the ceremony. I didn’t expect to win the MVP so late in my career, but I’m really honored to receive this award.”
Pedi had to spend some time adjusting to the KBO for the first time this season. It all started when he joined the team for spring training in Tucson, Arizona, earlier this year. “For the first time in my baseball career, I felt like an outsider,” Pedi recalls. I had to adapt to a new environment, and there was a language barrier, but I made a big effort to get the team to like me, and I’m really happy that I finally have a teammate who is like a brother.”
After arriving in the country for the awards ceremony on the 26th, Pedi will depart the country on the 28th. “I came to the awards with the hope of winning MVP, and I’m really happy that I finally got it,” he said.
The biggest concern is Pedi’s future. Since he has performed so well in the KBO, there could be teams that want him back in the major leagues. The deep-pocketed Nippon Professional Baseball Organization could also be looking to sign him. A re-signing with the NC Dinos could also be in the cards.
“I still need to talk to the NC Dinos,” Pedi said about his future next season. I have a great agent. After that, I might talk to other teams. I’m excited to see what happens. Whatever I decide, I’m going to prioritize my family. I’m going to do what’s best for them.”
When asked if he would be open to negotiations with NC, Pedi enthusiastically said, “Of course, yeah, yeah, yeah,” before adding, “Of course I’d have to talk to NC Dynos. NC is really a superior team for me. NC will have a place in my heart,” he said sincerely.
At the ceremony, the Rookie of the Year honor went to Hanwha’s Moon Dong-joo. The two shared a brief moment on the podium and got to know each other. In fact, they have a history. On August 14, they had a meal together just one day before the three-game series between NC and Hanwha in Changwon. Although they didn’t know each other personally, the meeting was organized after Moon expressed his desire to meet with Pedi. At the time, an NC representative said, “Moon Dong-joo asked Hanwha’s foreign scout (Kim Jin-young) to meet with Pedi, and since he is familiar with Pedi’s agent, the meeting was organized.”
During the meeting, it was revealed that Pedi taught Moon how to grip a slider and changeup. It was a heartwarming scene that showed not only Moon’s enthusiasm to learn baseball, but also Pedi’s sincere warmth toward the Korean athlete. At the time, Pedi said, “The meeting happened because Moon is a friend who has a strong desire to learn baseball. We talked a lot about baseball, but I was really surprised that he spoke English so well. “I played baseball in the U.S. for 10 years, and I tried to share as much knowledge as possible. “I played baseball in the U.S. for 10 years, and I tried to share as much knowledge as I could. I asked him questions about the major leagues, but mostly about pitching.
On seeing Moon again at the awards ceremony, Pedi said, “We took a picture together on the podium, and it was special to be there. I whispered to him, ‘I want you to hold the trophy (MVP) I’m holding now. He said he would do his best. It was a great day,” he smiled.
The end of the season has been full of twists and turns for Pedi. In the final game of the regular season on October 16, Pedi pitched a scoreless sixth inning before being hit in the right arm by a hard-hit ball from KIA’s Ko Jong-wook. He was one out shy of a perfect game and narrowly missed a one-run ERA. After focusing on his recovery, he missed the wild-card deciding game and the semi-finals, but returned to the mound in Game 1 of the playoffs against the KT Wiz, pitching six innings with 12 strikeouts and one earned run to lead his team to victory. The 12 strikeouts were the most in a single playoff game in history. But after two straight wins, NC dropped three straight games, ending Pedi’s fall season. As he left the field, he was in tears.
On what the 2023 season means to him, Peddie said, “It’s been an unbelievable season. I’ve done things that I didn’t think I could do even during the season. I don’t think there will ever be another season as great as this one,” he said. “I have a room in my house where I keep all my special memorabilia. I’m going to display it proudly there. And every time I walk by it, I want to be reminded of the good memories.”
When it comes to coworkers who have helped him, Pedi says, “I have so many. If I had to choose one, it would be Sihun Kim. We first met in Tucson, and there was a language barrier, so he made a lot of effort to learn English. We lived together in Tucson and built a close friendship. He will probably remain one of the best friends in my life until I pass away,” he said, expressing his gratitude.
“I am honored to be a part of the KBO for the 2023 season. I realize that it took 37 years for a single-season 20-win, 200-strikeout record to be achieved. I’m grateful to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the players who set those records.” “Unfortunately, this is probably the last time I’ll see them in person this year. Now I have to start training again. I’m looking forward to sharing the podium again next season.”