Posted June. 24, 2005 05:54,
The 59th Gold Lion National High School Baseball Championships (co-hosted by Dong-A Ilbo and the Korea Baseball Association) kicks off on June 27 at Dongdaemun Stadium. Let`s take a glimpse at the nine best players at each position to ever set foot in this grand event, which sets the stage for baseball`s legends.
Pitcher: Jang Tae-yeong
Clinching the first ever Gold Lion championship in 1947, Jang went on to help Kyungnam Middle School (currently Kyungnam High School) take the crown for three consecutive years until 1949. Three consecutive championships is a grand feat that hasn`t been broken since. It has been told that Jang, as a way to gain extra ball control, trained while facing right-handed and left-handed batters at the same time.
Catcher: Baek In-cheon
The player who brought back-to-back championships to Kyungdong High School in 1959 and 1960. His batting skills were strong enough to face college or U.S. Army teams. During the finals in 1960, the team was fortunate to win, 3-2 as they were trailing Pusan Commercial High School by four in the original game, before it was cancelled by rain.
1st Base: Jang Hyo-jo
During high school, he was positioned at 1st base instead of the outfield. Jang achieved three personal titles while leading Daegu Commercial High School to the championship in 1973. In the finals against Baemyung High School, with the score tied at three in the 10th inning, Jang, at 2nd base, scored the final run by sliding home on a hit and was knocked out from the collision with the opposing catcher, a fine display of bravery.
2nd Base: Kim Seong-rae
Kim attained three personal titles on his way helping Kyungbuk High School to win the championships after an eight-year gap in 1979. He hit a game-winning "goodbye" grand slam for the first time in high school baseball during a second round match against Jeonju High School with the game tied at three in the 10th inning.
3rd Base: Park Jae-hong
Park was well known for his batting ability and quick speed during his days at Kwangju Cheil High School. Although his team was the runner-up to Shin-il High School in 1991, led by Cho Sung-min and Kim Jae-hyun, Park came out on top among players for stolen bases and RBIs, and had the second highest batting average (.583).
Shortstop: Yoo Jung-il
Yoo, once a pitcher in middle school, succeeded in changing his position at Kyungbuk High School. In 1981 he helped bring four titles to Kyungbuk High School as a sophomore. Kyungbuk`s strength was based on its tight defense, with Yu at its core.
Left Field: Bong Jung-keun
Bong led Shin-il High School to a consecutive title in 1991, displaying some excellent skills on both offense and defense. As a pitcher during his freshman year in 1996, he won four decisions out of the team`s five, and won all of the team`s four as a sophomore. He also played left field and took the lead in stolen bases while coming in second in batting average in 1997.
Center Field: Jeong Su-geun
Jeong, a player known for his splendor and strong individual traits, led his team, Duksoo Commercial High School, to the championship in 1994. His superior range on defense and his agility were among the best in high school.
Right Field: Park Jun-tae
Park batted exceptionally well to help win two consecutive championships (1983, 1984) for Kwangju Cheil High School and was voted MVP for two years straight. Assuming the role as manager at Baemyung High School last year, this time he will make his debut in the tournament as a coach.