Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Chang-Yong Lim

Longtime KBO, NPB and MLB pitcher Chang-Yong Lim announced his retirement earlier this week.  Lim had begun his 24 year career with the Haitai Tigers of the KBO back in 1995.  After four seasons with Haitai he was traded to the Samsung Lions where he remained for another nine seasons.  He left Samsung after the 2007 season and signed with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in Japan.  After five seasons in Japan he signed with the Chicago Cubs and spent 2013 in North American playing in the minors before making his MLB debut in September.  The Cubs released him in March of 2014 and he returned to Korea and the Lions.  He was released by Samsung after the 2015 season when it was discovered that he had participated in illegal gambling in Macao.  He signed with the Kia Tigers for the 2016 season but missed half the season due being suspended by the KBO for the illegal gambling.  Kia released him following last season and wanted to continue pitching at age 42 but no team was interested in him.

Lim was primarily used as a relief pitcher and he led the KBO in saves four times (1998, 1999, 2004 and 2015).  He finished up his career with 386 saves - 258 in the KBO and 128 in NPB.  He was a three time All Star in Japan (2009-11) and I assume made multiple All Star teams in Korea but I don't know how many.  The article I referenced above says he was part of six Korean Series winning teams but I count seven - Haitai in 1996 and 1997, Samsung in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2014 and Kia in 2017.  He played for the Korean National Team in the 2000 Olympics and the 2009 World Baseball Classic as well as several Asian tournaments. 

The earliest card I know of for Lim is from the 1998 Pro Baseball Stickers set (which I don't have).  He's also in the 1999 and 2000 Teleca sets.  He has many Japanese cards between 2008 and 2012 and has KBO cards in some of the 2014-15 Superstar Baseball sets and the 2017*-18 SCC sets.

*Issued in 2018

I did a post a few years back when Lim headed to the Cubs from the Swallows that showed some of his cards.  Here's some others:

1999 Teleca Premium Korean Dream Team #D-5

2000 Teleca #59

2008 BBM 2nd Version #611

2009 Konami WBC Heroes #W09R116

2010 Bandai Owners League 02 #031

2011 Calbee #139

2012 BBM 1st Version #192

2014 Superstar Baseball Season Three #SBC03-087

2017 SCC #SCC-01-KA02

2018 SCC KBO Collection 2 Black #SCCR-02B/001

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