One of South Korea’s most decorated (and loved) baseball players has entered his final September as a pro. Lee Seung-yeop of the Samsung Lions is retiring at the end of this season, bringing down the curtain on a glittering career. Lee’s beloved Lions have struggled all year and won’t be playing playoff baseball. So, this is your last chance to see a true Korean sporting legend.
Lee has politely rejected offers of an official ceremony from each club, but that hasn’t stopped the baseball franchises from around Korea offering him an emotional send off. Samsung’s right-fielder, Koo Ja-wook, was reduced to tears after the Nexen Heroes wore Lee’s famous #36 uniform during a presentation at his final Gocheok Dome game.
The 40-year old left handed first baseman has only represented the Samsung Lions in the KBO, and his currently enjoying his second spell at the club after spending 8 years in Japan, lining out for Chiba Lotte Mariners, Yomiuri Giants and Orix Buffaloes.
Lee is a 4-time Korean Series champion (2002, 2012, 2013, 2014), 5-time KBO MVP and one time Korean Series MVP. He has also added a couple of NPB medals to his collection. He holds KBO records for most career home runs, runs scored, RBIS, total bases, slugging percentage and OPS. He also won a gold medal with Korea at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
On Friday night, Lee came to the plate for the final time at Munhak Baseball Stadium, Incheon. Despite still being in with a chance to play postseason baseball, there probably wouldn’t have been too many disappointed SK Wyverns fans if Lee kept this in play and won the game.
Here a video of some of Lee’s highlights.
If you don’t live in Daegu and want to catch the Lion King one more time, this is all you need to know:
September 2-3 (Saturday and Sunday): Jamsil Baseball Stadium, Seoul.
- Samsung Lions @ Doosan Bears.
September 7-8 (Thursday and Friday): Sajik Baseball Stadium, Busan.
- Samsung Lions @ Lotte Giants.
September 9-10 (Saturday and Sunday): Champions Field, Gwangju.
- Samsung Lions @ Kia Tigers.
September 14-15 (Thursday and Friday): Masan Baseball Stadium, Changwon.
- Samsung Lions @ NC Dinos.
There are rain-out games that need to be replayed, and the KBO will announce these shortly. The Samsung Lions will conclude their regular season schedule at home to the Doosan Bears on the weekend of September 16th.