A routine pop fly could have been the start of an eighth-inning rally to break a 3-3 tie in Thursday’s Korean League game between the Lotte Giants and Hanwha Eagles. Lucky for the Giants, their shortstop has a bouncy noggin.
The Giants were in the field at the top of the frame, knotted up at home in South Korea, when Shin Bon-ki drifted under a shallow fly for what appeared to be an easy second out. Somehow the infielder missed the ball altogether, falling to the ground as the descending white missile clunked him right on top of the head.
And yet Bon-ki’s embarrassing accident actually helped the Giants retire the batter, with the ball bouncing perfectly off his cranium and into the waiting glove of teammate Jeon Joon-Woo.
The Korean broadcasters let out a universal exclamation — “Oh!” — upon seeing the ball ricochet off Bon-ki’s head, and the affected shortstop ultimately remained in the game, either because the ball didn’t actually hurt that much or because he felt pretty heroic after his accidental triumph. That’s not to say he didn’t look at least a little dazed following the play.
Bon-ki ultimately finished 1-for-3 on the night with one of Lotte’s three runs, but the Giants as a whole ended up falling to Hanwha, 4-3, leaving the shortstop’s head as merely a footnote on the team’s 39th defeat of the season.