Sunday, September 18, 2016

Seung Yeop Lee

Last week Seung Yeop Lee, currently with the Samsung Lions of the KBO and formerly with the Marines, Giants and Buffaloes in NPB, hit his 600th career home run between the two leagues:



Lee joined the Samsung Lions in 1995 and became a regular almost immediately at the age of 18.  He had his breakout season in 1997 where he hit 32 home runs and had 114 RBIS, leading the league in both categories for the first time.  He stayed with Samsung through the 2003 season, leading the league in home runes four more times and RBIs three more times.  He set a KBO (and at the time Asian baseball) record with 56 home runs in 2003.  Following that season, he signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines and headed for Japan.

1999 Teleca #80

1999 Teleca Premium #52

1999 Teleca Premium "Sniper" #S-3

2000 Teleca "Super Game"
Lee spent his first two season in Japan with the Marines.  He had modest numbers his first season but hit 30 home runs with 82 RBIs in his second season while helping Lotte win the Nippon Series.  He hit .545 with 3 home runs and 6 RBIs in the Marines' four game sweep of the Tigers and received one of the three "Outstanding Player" awards for the Series.

2004 BBM 1st Version #113

2005 Konami Baseball Heroes "White Edition" #B05W159

2005 BBM Nippon Series #18
He left the Marines and signed with the Yomiuri Giants for the 2006 season.  His first season with the Giants was his best season in Japan - a .323 batting average with 41 home runs and 108 RBIs.  He followed that up with another 30+ home run season in 2007 but a number of circumstances (injuries, the 2008 Olympics and I think the foreign player limit on the active roster) started taking playing time away from him after that, although he did appear for the Giants in both the 2008 and 2009 Nippon Series.  The Giants released him following the 2010 season.

2006 BBM 1st Version #382

2008 Calbee "Opening Game" #OP-02
He signed with the Orix Buffaloes for the 2011 season, hitting only .201 with 15 home runs and 51 RBIs.  After the season he returned to Samsung and the KBO.

2011 BBM 1st Version #123
Lee has pretty much returned to form in the past five seasons with Samsung.  He's hit over .300 with at least 20 home runs each season except for 2013.  He is the all time KBO home run leader with 441 (as of last Wednesday).

2014 Super Star Baseball Season Two #SBC02-004-AS

2015 Super Star Baseball Season Two Sticker
Lee has played for the Korean national team in two Olympics -2004 and 2008 and also played for them in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.  He hit five home runs in the 2006 WBC but none of them was a big as the two run shot he hit against Japan in the last game of Round 1 in the Tokyo Dome.

2006 Upper Deck WBC Moments #CM-27
For more cards of Lee, check out Dan Skrezyna's page for Lee on his KBO Cards blog.

H/T KBO Reddit for the video.

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