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 teams 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-joos 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-soos 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-joos salary, however, is 320 million won.
Last year, Kim Dong-joo suddenly declared his retirement, but rescinded it when he heard of Shim Jeong-soos huge contract, promising that he would beat Shim Jeong-soo to become the highest earning player.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 teams Korean Series championship last year with two home runs and eight RBIs.
So who will be the ultimate winner?