Sunday, March 1, 2020

1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team

1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-25
With South Korea being one of the four teams that has already qualified for this summer's Olympics (along with Japan, Israel and Mexico - the other two will be determined in two tournaments happening over the next six weeks), I wanted to do a series of posts on Korean National Team sets.  I'm not going to do posts about their Olympic teams like I have for the Japanese teams due to a lack of knowledge and a lack of cards (which is a shame since they're actually the defending Gold Medal winners) but instead concentrate on the cards I know of that depict their National team.

The subject of this first post is unique as it is to my knowledge the only set of cards showcasing the Korean National Team that was issued by a Korean card company.  In 1999 Teleca issued a high end set called "Premium" that had 100 cards in its base set.  It also included a 26 card insert set entitled "Korea Dream Team".  This insert set featured the entire 24 man roster* for Korea's team in the 1999 Asian Championship tournament, held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, South Korea (home of the KBO's Doosan Bears and LG Twins and the 1988 Olympic baseball venue) between September 11 to September 17, 1999.  The tournament served as a qualifier for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. 

*The other two cards in the insert set are the team photo card pictured above (which is also a checklist for the set) and an unnumbered "title" card

There were six teams in the tournament - Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, the Philippines and Thailand.  The teams were split into two three-team brackets.  Korea was in Group A with China and Thailand while Japan was in Group B with Taiwan and the Philippines.  For the first round each team played each of the other two teams in its bracket.  As you might expect, Korea and Japan dominated their Groups.  Korea beat China 10-0 and Thailand 11-0 - both games were shortened to seven innings due to the slaughter rule.  Japan (which featured NPB players Daisuke Matsuzaka, Atsuya Furuata, Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Kenjiro Nomura) beat the Philippines 10-0 (also in a slaughter rule shortened seven inning game) and Taiwan 9-1. 

The final round featured the top two teams from each bracket - Korea and China from Group A and Japan and Taiwan from Group B (the Philippines beat Thailand 9-2 in a game to decide fifth place in the tournament).  Each team would play each of the other teams with the tournament winner being determined by whichever team ended up with the best record.  Korea and Japan each won their first two games in the round (Korea defeated China 7-1 and Taiwan 5-4 in 11 innings while Japan beat Taiwan 2-1 and China 3-0).  This set up a showdown for the final game of the tournament between the two undefeated teams.  Japan took an early 2-0 lead and led 3-1 going into the bottom of the sixth before Korea scored three runs to take the lead.  Korea added another run in the seventh and won the game 5-3.  By finishing first and second in the tournament, both Korea and Japan qualified for the Sydney Olympics.

Korea's roster included 19 players who were active in the KBO at the time along with five college players*.  Here's the roster (NOTE - with a couple exceptions, I'm using the player names as they appear on the cards in this set - which may not be how they appear in other sets.  I'm also using the birthdates listed on their cards which may or may not match the dates in Wikipedia - I think there's a Korean custom about birthdates and/or calendars that I don't understand):

*At least I think all five non-KBO players were collegiate players

Player DOB Professional Teams
Cho Yong-jun 3/17/1979 Hyundai Unicorns 2002-05, Woori Heroes 2009
Chung Min-tae 3/1/1970 Pacific Dolphins 1992-95, Hyundai Unicorns 1996-00, Yomiuri Giants 2001-02, Hyundai Unicorns 2003-07, Kia Tigers 2008
Hong Sung-hoon 2/28/1977 Doosan Bears 1999-2008, Lotte Giants 2009-12, Doosan Bears 2013-16
Jeong Min-chul 3/28/1972 Binggrae Eagles 1992-93, Hanwha Eagles 1994-99, Yomiuri Giants 2000-01, Hanwha Eagles 2002-09
Jin Pil-jung 10/13/1972 OB Bears 1995-98, Doosan Bears 1999-02, Kia Tigers 2003, LG Twins 2004-07, Woori Heroes 2008
Joo Hyung-kwang 3/1/1976 Lotte Giants 1994-96, 1998-2007
Jung Soo-keun 1/20/1977 OB Bears 1995-98, Doosan Bears 1999-2003, Lotte Giants 2004-09
Kim Dong-joo 2/3/1976 OB Bears 1998, Doosan Bears 1999-2014
Kim Dong-soo 10/27/1968 LG Twins 1990-99, Samsung Lions 2000-01, SK Wyverns 2002, Hyundai Unicorns 2003-07, Woori Heroes 2008-09
Kim Han-soo 10/30/1971 Samsung Lions 1994-2007
Kim Min-ho 3/19/1969 OB Bears 1993-98, Doosan Bears 1999-2003
Kim Sang-hun 10/27/1977 Haitai Tigers 2000, Kia Tigers 2001-14
Koo Dae-sung 8/2/1969 Lotte Giants 1993, Hanwha Eagles 1994-2000, Orix Blue Wave 2001-04, New York Mets 2005, Hanwha Eagles 2006-10
Kyung Hun-ho 7/25/1977 LG Twins 2000-12
Lee Byung-kyu 10/25/1974 LG Twins 1997-2006, Chunichi Dragons 2007-09, LG Twins 2010-2016
Lee Seung-yeop 8/18/1976 Samsung Lions 1995-2003, Chiba Lotte Marines 2004-05, Yomiuri Giants 2006-10, Orix Buffaloes 2011, Samsung Lions 2012-17
Lim Chang-yong 6/4/1976 Haitai Tigers 1995-98, Samsung Lions 1999-2007, Yakult Swallows 2008-12, Chicago Cubs 2013, Samsung Lions 2014-15, Kia Tigers 2016-18
Mun Dong-hwan 5/8/1972 Lotte Giants 1997-03, Hanwha Eagles 2004-07
Park Han-yi 1/28/1979 Samsung Lions 2001-19
Park Jae-hong 9/7/1973 Hyundai Unicorns 1996-2002, Kia Tigers 2003-04, SK Wyverns 2005-12
Park Jong-tae 1/27/1969 Lotte Giants 1991-2004
Ryu Ji-hyun 5/25/1971 LG Twins 1994-04
Shin Myung-chul 8/6/1978 Lotte Giants 2001-06, Samsung Lions 2007-13, KT Wiz 2014-15
Yang Jun-hyeok 5/26/1969 Samsung Lions 1993-98, Haitai Tigers 1999, LG Twins 2000-01, Samsung Lions 2002-10

There's a couple pretty big names in this set, most notably Lee Byung-kyu and Lee Seung-yeop.  Six of the players spent time playing in Japan (the two Lees, Chung Min-tae, Jeong Min-chul, Koo Dae-sung and Lim Chang-yong) and two of them went on to play in MLB (Koo and Lim).  The five collegiate players were Cho Yong-jun, Kim Sang-hun, Kyung Hun-ho, Park Han-yi and Shin Myung-chul, all of whom eventually played in the KBO.  Park Han-yi was the last active player from the team - he retired during the 2019 season.

I'm going to show all the player cards from the set along with a KBO or NPB card of the player, if I have one.  There are three players that I don't have KBO cards of.  I don't know of any cards for Cho Yong-jun and Shin Myung-chul while the only KBO card I know of for Kyung Hun-ho is a "Rookie" insert card from the 2000 Teleca set (#R13).  I'd also like to point out that I don't have the "Korea Dream Team" cards of Park Jae-hong and Ryu Ji-hyun - I've swiped the images of those two cards from's listing for the set.  I'm going to label each player since the "Premium" cards don't scan well due to their silver finish and not all the KBO cards have the player's name in English on them.

Cho Yong-jun

1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-9

Chung Min-tae

1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-1

1994 Teleca #71

Hong Sung-hoon

1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-11

2014 Superstar Baseball Season Three #SBC03-011-SS

Jeong Min-chul

1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-2

2000 BBM #181

Jin Pil-jung

1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-4

1999 Teleca #7

Joo Hyung-kwang

1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-7

1999 Teleca #42

Jung Soo-keun

1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-21

2000 Teleca #24

Kim Dong-joo

1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-17

2014 Superstar Baseball Season Two #SBC02-022

Kim Dong-soo
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-10

1994 Teleca LG Twins #2

Kim Han-soo
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-18

1999 Teleca "Diamond Kings" #DK-2
Kim Min-ho
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-16

2000 Teleca #16

Kim Sang-hun
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-12

2012 Superstar Baseball Season One #SBC01-102

Koo Dae-sung
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-6

2001 Upper Deck #108

Kyung Hun-ho
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-8
Lee Byung-kyu
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-20

2007 BBM Dragons #D079
Lee Seung-yeop
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-13

2004 BBM 2nd Version #558
Lim Chang-yong
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-5

2011 Calbee #139
Mun Dong-hwan
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-3

2000 Teleca #33
Park Han-yi
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-24

2017 SCC #SCC-01-SS20/N
Park Jae-hong
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-22

2010 KBO "Game" #AW-003
Park Jong-tae
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-14

2000 Teleca #40
Ryu Ji-hyun
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-15

1999 Teleca #108
Shin Myung-chul
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-19
Yang Jun-hyeok
1999 Teleca Premium Korea Dream Team #D-23

1994 Teleca #45

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