The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers will kick off the 2024 MLB season on March 20th with the first-ever regular season game in Seoul, South Korea. While playing the first game in South Korea will be memorable for every member of the Dodgers and Padres, the ‘Seoul Series' will be even more special for one player in particular: Padres infielder Ha-Seong Kim, who was born and raised in Seoul.

“When I joined the Padres, I never would have imagined that I would have the opportunity to represent the San Diego Padres and Major League Baseball in my home country,” Kim said in a recorded message. “I cannot express in words how happy I am to be able to play in Korea in a San Diego uniform.”

Ha-Seong Kim, 27, played professionally in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) before signing with the Padres late in 2020. He's been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise forgettable first half in 2023 for San Diego, recording career highs in OPS and Stolen Bases among other categories.

With the trade deadline looming and the Padres still stuttering in the NL West race, it's unclear which members of the team will be making the trip to South Korea next season. It feels like a good bet Kim will be there, though, and he's ready to play host and show everyone his old home.

“It will be very special for me to invite my teammates, staff and coaches to our country and experience this great opportunity together,” Kim said. “It would be appreciated if many Padres fans from Korea came to support us. See you in Seoul.”