Yasiel Puig comes out of nowhere with Vin Scully tribute in Korean playoffs

Adam Weinrib
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 02: Outfielder Yasiel Puig #66 of the Kiwoom Heroes reacts in the top of the eighth inning during the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) League opening game between Kiwoom Heroes and Lotte Giants at Gocheok Skydome on April 02, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 02: Outfielder Yasiel Puig #66 of the Kiwoom Heroes reacts in the top of the eighth inning during the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) League opening game between Kiwoom Heroes and Lotte Giants at Gocheok Skydome on April 02, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images) /
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It looks like the Dodgers might win a championship for Vin Scully in some capacity in 2022, but it’s absolutely not the Dodger you were thinking of, nor is it the one you wanted.

Yasiel Puig’s future in Los Angeles seemed bright when the Wild Horse broke through back in 2013, mashing 19 homers in 104 games while hitting .319. Though he never ascended to the heights many projected for him, he remained an integral part of the Dodgers’ lineup through 2018, when he slammed 23 homers and what could’ve been a key three-run blast in Game 4 of the World Series, if only the bullpen hadn’t unraveled.

Puig was dealt away that offseason, though, at which point his career took a necessary downturn stateside. Reports emerged that Puig had secretly settled with two sexual assault accusers midway through the 2017 season, eventually leading to his career fizzling out both in Los Angeles and stateside in general.

The Dodgers didn’t act as soon as they could’ve or should’ve, but at the very least, Major League Baseball eventually saw the light, while Puig moved to Korea to continue his baseball career with Kiwoom Heroes.

Wouldn’t you know it? Puig’s new team clinched a spot in the Korean Championship Series this week and the slugger homered, dedicating his team’s run to Vin Scully while using the Dodgers’ official #WinForVin hashtag. It’s all … it’s all something.

Yasiel Puig winning for Dodgers’ Vin Scully in Korea

The 31-year-old Puig called Scully a “father figure” after learning of his passing and got emotional this summer when asked to provide a tribute.

The right fielder’s past is beyond checkered, and it’s impossible to write about him without acknowledging that, as well as the obvious reason he’s no longer in MLB.

But Puig forged an eternal connection with Scully while he was stateside; in fact, the legendary announcer was the first man to dub him “Wild Horse”. While the Dodgers wish the connection had been fully severed, Puig has continued evoking their franchise as he gets ever closer to a championship abroad.

This is all a lot to process.

Ideally, the Dodgers channel Scully’s memory next season, Win for Vin as a team, and we can all forget about this.

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