South Korean baseball slugger Lee Dae-ho’s jersey number 10 will be placed next to the late baseball legend Choi Dong-won’s No. 11, the only retired number that has stood alone for 11 years in the Lotte Giant’s home ground, Sajik Baseball Stadium. The Lotte Giants announced on Thursday that it would permanently retire Lee’s No. 10, upon Lee’s retirement at the end of this season. Two players have permanently retired from the Lotte Giants, namely, Choi Dong-won in 2011, followed by Lee Dae-ho in 2022.
Choi and Lee are not only the symbol of the team but also major players of the entire KBO league. Choi won four matches in the Korean Series in 1984, leading the team’s first victory since the team’s foundation. Wearing Lotte’s No. 10, Lee Dae-ho became a seven-time KBO baseball batting champion and the first player to hit home runs nine games in a row in Korea, the U.S., and Japan.
Yet, Choi did not live to see his number placed on the Sajik stadium. Traded to the Samsung Lions in the wake of the conflict between professional baseball players and the baseball committee in 1988, Choi retired from Samsung in 1990. Twenty-one years later, Lotte finally held a permanent breeding ceremony for Choi in September 2011 after the legendary player died from colorectal cancer. There are only two players, Kim Young-shin from the OB Bears (current Doosan) and Choi Dong-won, whose numbers have been posthumously retired. OB permanently retired Kim’s No. 54 in commemorating the player when Kim died young.
Lee will be the 17th player on the permanently retired list in the KBO league. Only three players joined the permanently retired list without having won in the Korean Series: Lee Byung-gyu from the LG Twins (No. 9) in 2017, Kim Tae-gyun from the Hanwha Eagles (No. 52) in 2021, and Park Yong-taek from the LG Twins (No. 33) in 2022. Lee’s No. 10 overlaps with the previously designated permanent retired number of Yang Joon-hyuk from the Samsung Lions in 2010.
Lee Dae-ho’s retirement and permanent breeding ceremony will be held after Lotte’s final season match against LG next Thursday. All team members will be up for the match wearing uniforms with the back number 10.
Bo-Mi Im firstname.lastname@example.org