LG’s foreign pitcher Casey Kelly, 34, is a classic long-haired pitcher.
Kelly made his KBO debut with LG in 2019 and is now in his fifth season in South Korea. His hair has become his signature, growing almost as long as the beard that covers his face.
Until recently, however, the long hair was a bit of a challenge. In the summer, long hair adds to the heat.
But now she’s entering a season where she can confidently toss her long hair out into the open. With the arrival of fall, the weather has cooled down and Kelly has returned to form, going 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA in three games in September.
In fact, Kelly has had his biggest breakout year since joining the KBO.
After posting 14 wins (12 losses) in 2019, his rookie year, Kelly continued his double-digit win streak with 15 wins (7 losses) in 2020, 13 wins (8 losses) in 2021, and 16 wins (4 losses) last year, his most since arriving in Korea.
This year, however, he went just 6-5 with a 4.44 ERA in the first 18 games of the season and was in and out of the rotation. LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop kept his faith in Kelly, but his up-and-down pitching caused anxiety.
But now, Kelly is back to his old self. “I just had to believe in myself and play baseball,” he said. “Thankfully, the coaching staff and the front office believed in me and thought I could do well. “Thankfully, the coaching staff and the front office believed in me and thought I could do well, so I’m very grateful and honored to be a part of the LG family now.
“It feels good to be done with the summer,” he said. “In the fall, you don’t sweat as much and you’re playing in cooler weather, so it just feels good, and I think that’s why I’m playing well. Now we have to play our best baseball as a team and individually, so we’re working hard.”캡틴토토
LG finished the regular season atop the standings this year and is on track to qualify for the Korean Series. If the team finishes the season in first place, it will be the first pennant race in 29 years.
“It feels good to be in the lead,” Kelly said. “We’ve been thinking and planning for this since we started training in spring training. Every game, different guys are stepping up. It means we’re playing good baseball.”
Kelly will be wearing his long hair in the postseason. “It was actually hot in the summer, but now that it’s fall and there’s a crisp breeze, it’s probably the best time to keep it long,” he laughs.