Lee Seung Yeop, Korea’s legendary Lion King, played his last game on Tuesday 3 October. In his final season Lee represented the Samsung Lions and his last outing was against the Nexen Heroes. He hit a home run in his first at bat. The Samsung Lions won 10-9 to close with a win a losing (55 wins, 5 draws and 84 losses) season.
Lee Seung Yeop was born in 1976 and made his debut in the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization; Korea’s top professional league and a proud member of WBSC) in 1995 for the Samsung Lions.
At the end of the 2003 season he signed for the Chiba Lotte Marines of NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball; the Major Leagues of Japan and another proud member of WBSC). He played 2 seasons for Chiba then moved to the Yomiuri Giants for the 2006 season and represented them through the 2010 campaign. He played in 2011 for the Oryx Buffaloes and then moved back to his home country and the Samsung Lions.
He won 4 KBO league titles, was named 4 times MVP and earned 9 gold gloves. He won 2 times the Japan Series.
He is KBO home run leader all time (467) and in a single season (56).
Lee Seung Yeop has starred internationally for Korea. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic he led the tournament in home runs (5) and made the All World Team.
His power hitting was key to Korea’s gold medal in 2008 Bejing Olympics. Lee hit a go ahead home run in the semi final against Japan and a first inning home run in the final against Cuba.
He was also on the bronze medal team that represented Korea at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.