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KIA's Kim Do-young summons memories of big names, 10 home runs, 10 doubles 'not just anyone can do it'

Kim Do-young (21) of the KIA Tigers became the first KBO player to hit 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases in a single month. The record naturally brought back memories of big names from the past.

Kim started at third base on May 25 against the Gochuk Kiwoom Heroes. He led off the top of the fifth inning with a 3-0 lead, and when Kiwoom starter Kim Sun-ki's 141-kilometer fastball hit the middle of the plate, he blasted a 130-meter solo shot to center field.

The 23rd pitch wasn't as fast or high-trajectory as his 176-kilometer home run, but mid-month home runs don't come easy at the 122-meter Gocheok Sky Dome in center field. Kim's athleticism, talent, and hard work once again shone through.

It was also her 10th home run of the season, the first double-digit home run of her career. It also gave him 10 home runs and 11 doubles for the season. It was the first 10-homer, 10-double month in the KBO's 42-year history. Before Kim, the closest player to 10-10 was Son As-seob (then of the Lotte Giants) with nine home runs and 10 steals in August 2017.

With his athleticism and talent, it's impossible to go 10-10 every month. Kim also extended his scoring streak to 12 games, starting on Sept. 12 against the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles. This is tied with Kim Sun-bin, who scored in 12 consecutive games from September 11-25, 2018, for the most consecutive games in club history. It ranks fourth in KBO history.

Kim is also within striking distance of the franchise record for most home runs in a single month. Kim Sang-hyun's 15 home runs in August 2010 are the most in a single month in franchise history. Kim's 10 homers are tied for the second-most in the franchise's history with Kim Bong-yeon in May 1983, Tracy Sanders in May 1999, Hong Hyun-woo in June 1999, and Choi Hyung-woo in 2020.

Kia wraps up its April schedule with a series against the LG Twins in Jamsil on April 26-28 and the KT Wiz in Gwangju on April 30. Kim needs to hit five home runs in four games to tie Kim Sang-hyun, which will be a tall order even for Kim Do-young, who has been hitting well of late. Still, it's interesting to see the names from the past.

After the game, Kim said, "I was happy to have the best month ever. I was conscious of my record. I was greedy because I wanted to hit it fast, and I was lucky that I hit it. My seniors said it's a record that won't be broken for years to come, but I'm going to break it. I'm trying to take it easy," she said.

Kim doesn't really have a desire for home runs. "I think of myself as a medium-to-long hitter. I want to hit it right. I want to perform well every month, and the attention around me feels good rather than a burden. I'm happy every day these days. I'm going to be careful with my injuries and focus more on my game," he said.