Thursday, March 4, 2021

Park Yong-Taek

Long time LG Twin Park Yong-Taek, the KBO's all time hits leader, has retired.  Park was drafted by LG out of high school in 1998 but it appears that this was just some sort of way that teams could "reserve" high school graduates as he went on to Korea University and didn't actually join the Twins until 2002.  

Park spent his entire 19 year career with LG.  He won a batting crown in 2009 and led the league in stolen bases in 2005.  He won the Golden Glove award four times (2009, 2012, 2013 and 2017) and played for the Korean National Team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.  Besides hits, he is also the career leader in the KBO in games played, at bats and plate appearances.  

Oddly enough, he never led the KBO in hits in any season - he just steadily accumulated hits over his career.  His 2504 career hits are 295 hits more than Kim Tae-Kyun (3rd on the all time list), 348 more than Lee Seung-Yeop (6th) and 461 more than Lee Byung-Kyu (10th), each of whom spent several seasons in NPB.  You wonder if they'd stayed in Korea if one of them would be the career leader - especially Lee Seung-Yeop as he spent eight years in NPB.  Not to take anything away from Park.

Park's first baseball card appears to be a phone card from 2009.  His first "normal" card is from the unlicensed 2010 KBO "game" set but he appears regularly in the licensed sets issued by Duall/SMG/Ntreev between 2014 and 2016 and SCC from 2017 to 2020.  He did not appear in any of the 2006 WBC sets.  Here's all the cards I have of him:

2010 KBO Game Set #AT-002

2014 Superstar Baseball Season Two #SBC02-029

2014 Superstar Baseball Season Two #SBC02-029-SS

2015 Superstar Baseball Season Two #SBC1502-099-N

2015 Superstar Baseball Hell's Fireball #PA01-LG003

2016 Superstar Baseball Diamond Winners #PA02-LG001

2016-17 Superstar Baseball Black Edition #SBCBK-108-N

2016-17 Superstar Baseball Black Edition #SBCBK-043-AS

2017 SCC #SCC-01-LG15/N

2018 SCC KBO Collection #SCCR-01/142

2018 SCC KBO Collection 2 Red #SCCR-02R/040

2019 SCC KBO Collection #SCCR1-19/159

2020 SCC KBO Premium Collection #SCCP1-20/T19

No comments: