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Lotte’s Lee Dae-ho is Korean Baseball’s Star of Stars

Posted July. 18, 2005 03:09,   


The Korean baseball all-star game was played on July 17 at Moonhak Stadium. The East was trailing 4-5 at the bottom of the eighth with one out and a runner on second. Hit by a nimble bat, the ball then was slammed over the top of the left field fence. It was a 125m long two-run homerun that won the game.

Mister Giant Lee Dae-ho (22, Lotte), who is 196cm tall and weighs 100kg, was selected as the game’s MVP, the greatest award of the night, in his first all-star game. He received 10 million won in prize money and a trophy. Out of the 47 votes cast by reporters, he got 42, overwhelming Doosan’s Hong Seong-hoon and Hyundai’s Jung Seong-hoon, who had three and tow votes respectively.

Lee became the seventh Lotte player after Kim Yong-hee (1982, 1984), Heo Gyu-ok (1989), Kim Min-ho (1990), Kim Eung-guk (1991), Park Jeong-tae (1998, 1999), and Chung Soo-geun (2004) to win the all-star MVP award.

Despite the cloudy weather, a crowd of 21,540 packed the all-star game stadium. They got their money’s worth from the game that ended 6-5 with six homeruns and other diverse events.

In the final round of the homerun derby to decide the league’s best slugger, Hanhwa’s Kim Tae-gyun beat SK’s Park Jae-hong, 5-2.

In the hardest throwing pitcher event, Hyundai’s Jung Seung-hoon threw a 152kmph fastball, amazing even fastball pitchers. Jang Jong-hoon, a coach for Hanhwa’s minor league team, was the first-ever special guest player to appear at the game, and pinch-hit in the top the ninth with runners on first and second, and one out, but grounded out to second. The game started with the first ball thrown by “Incheon City Baseball’s Godfather” and the first manager of Sami, Park Hyun-sik (76), who is battling stomach cancer.

Hwan Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com