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Load the Cannons

Posted October. 13, 2005 07:06,   


“Hercules” vs. “Rhinoceros”-

In the upcoming Korean Series between the Samsung Lions and the Doosan Bears starting on October 15, the highlight will be the competition between the two team’s main sluggers, Shim Jeong-soo (30) and Kim Dong-joo (29).

Shim Jeong-soo and Kim Dong-joo are the same age and were once teammates on Doosan. With the addition of Tyron Woods, who is currently playing in Japan, they were called the “Woo-Dong-Soo Trio.” This trio collaborated to hit 85 home runs in 1998, 87 in 1999, and 99 in 2000.

The two went their separate ways in 2001 when Shim Jeong-soo was traded to the Hyundai Unicorns. The Korean Series championship now depends on these friends-turned-enemies.

Round One: Kim Dong-joo’s Advantage

During the “Woo-Dong-Soo” times, the center of gravity was Kim Dong-joo. He prevailed in performance and name value. Shim Jeong-soo, who graduated from Dongdaemun Commercial High School (now Cheongwon High School), signed with a pro team in 1994 for a bonus of 38 million won, whereas Kim Dong-joo, who graduated from Korea University, received 450 million won when he joined the team in 1998.

Kim Dong-joo received better reviews both from within and outside the team. There were times when Shim Jeong-soo, as the fifth batter, would go into slumps on days that cleanup hitter Kim Dong-joo hit a home run, for he would unconsciously put in more power then.

Round Two: Shim Jeong-soo’s Advantage

While Kim Dong-joo was experiencing a brief slump as the lone top slugger of the team, Shim Jeong-soo made a remarkable improvement in Hyundai. He slugged 46 homers in 2002 and 53 the following year.

Becoming a free agent (FA) at the end of last season, Shim Jeong-soo jumped to Samsung, signing for an unbelievable six billion won, four-year contract. His yearly salary this season, 750 million won, is the highest in the league. Kim Dong-joo’s salary, however, is 320 million won.

Last year, Kim Dong-joo suddenly declared his retirement, but rescinded it when he heard of Shim Jeong-soo’s huge contract, promising that he would “beat Shim Jeong-soo to become the highest earning player.”

Round Three: Unknown-

Shim Jeong-soo ended the season with a batting average of 0.275, 28 home runs, and 87 RBIs. Kim Dong-joo had a batting average of 0.302, 10 home runs, and 50 RBIs. Both did not play up to their name value.

However, Kim Dong-joo batted 0.385, hit one home run, and batted in eight runs in the 2001 Korean Series. Shim Jeong-soo also contributed to his team’s Korean Series championship last year with two home runs and eight RBIs.

So who will be the ultimate winner?