Go to contents

Hold the Golden Lion

Posted June. 23, 2004 21:17,   


An Unfortunate Encounter—

Incheon High School is going head-to-head against Chonan Bookil High School in the first round of the Golden Lion Tournament. Incheon High School won this year’s Presidential Cup National High School Baseball Competition, and Bookil is also a strong team that won the tournament in 2002 and placed second last year. Both teams are capable of reaching the top. Manager Yang Hoo-sung of the Incheon team vowed, “If you are going to be beat, it’s better to be beaten first,” while his counterpart at Bookil High, Kim Sang-kook countered, “You button up the first button well and the rest will be easy.” Busan High School, which has won all other tournaments but this one, will face the winner of the Bookil-Incheon game in order to advance to the quarterfinals so it will face a tough road ahead.

Will it Be Concentrated in the Capital, or Dispersed to the Provinces?—

In the Golden Lion Tournament, from 1990 until last year, teams from Seoul won the title 11 times out of 14. The three regional teams to win the tournament were Daegu Commercial High School in 1998, Kunsan Commercial High School in 1999 and Bookil High School in 2002. Nevertheless, this year, regional teams are up to the challenge. Seoul teams, the “pitcher kingdom,” Shinil High, and this year’s Presidential Cup runner-up, Duksoo Information High School, are favorites. As for regional teams, Incheon High, which is aiming to win two tournaments this year, Bookil High, which is looking to regain its title in the 15th year after it won the title in 1989, and Busan High School are the favorites.

In the Name of the Father—

There are many second-generation baseball players on the teams’ rosters. Park Yoon of Incheon High is the son of SK’s head coach, Park Jong-hoon. Although he is only a freshman, he is the starting first basemen and has gone 6 for 14 in the Presidential Cup. It will be interesting to see whether Coach Park’s son can win the title as his father did when he attended Shinil High in 1976, and set a record for father and son winning the same title. Coach Park said, “Although I cannot make it to the stadium, in my heart I will root for him.”

Bookil High’s Yoo Won-sang, a traditional right-hand pitcher, is the son of Hanhwa’s manager and former catcher, Yoo Seung-an. Yoo’s main arsenal is a fastball clocking over 140km. Busan High’s slugger, Chung Eui-yoon, is Chung In-kyo’s son, who was a former player and coach for Lotte.

When it Rains—

There are forecasts that the rain season will commence on June 25. The tournament’s schedule, running from June 24 to July 2, will coincide with the rain. If it rains during the game, the umpire will wait for 30 minutes and then decide whether it is possible to continue the game; if the game reaches at least the fifth inning, then the game is finished and called off. However, if the game has not gone to the fifth inning, then no game is announced and both teams will have to play again at another time.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com