중앙데일리

Slugger makes final cut for Beijing

Despite poor form, first baseman joins 24-strong squad

July 15,2008
Lee Seung-yeop
Left-handed slugger Lee Seung-yeop, 31, has made the final 24-man roster for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the Korea Baseball Organization announced yesterday.

Lee, who plays for the Yomiuri Giants in the Nippon Professional Baseball League, expressed his desire to play for the national team in Beijing last week.

He led the national team to the bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics,

The prolific home run hitter blasted 56 homers in the 2003 season when he was playing for Korea’s Samsung Lions.

His 56 homers is still the Asian home run record for a single season. The first baseman also hit a total of 324 homers with 948 RBI from 1995 through 2003 in Korea.

After flying to Japan in early 2004, he recorded a batting average of .279 with 115 HR and 314 RBI as of 2007.

Mired in a deep slump in this season, Lee has been wallowing in the team’s minor league affiliate since April.

In addition to Lee, the national team is made up of ten pitchers: Song Seung-jun of the Lotte Giants, Lim Tae-hoon of Doosan Bears, Kwon Hyuk and Oh Seung-hwan of Samsung Lions, Jang Won-sam of Woori Heroes, Ryu Hyun-jin of Hanwha Eagles, Jung Dae-hyun and Kim Kwang-hyun of SK Wyverns, Bong Jung-geun of LG Twins and Han Gi-joo of Kia Tigers.

The two catchers are Jin Gap-yong of Samsung and Kang Min-ho of Lotte.

The six infielders are Kim Dong-joo and Ko Young-min of Doosan, Jung Geun-woo of SK, Kim Min-jae of Hanwha, Park Jin-man of Samsung and Lee Dae-ho of Lotte.

The five outfielders are Kim Hyun-soo and Lee Jong-wook of Doosan, Lee Jing-young of SK, Lee Yong-gyu of Kia and Lee Taek-geun of Woori.

Meanwhile, other pro baseball players overseas didn’t make the cut for the men’s national team this summer.

They include Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Park Chan-ho, Cleveland Indians’ outfielder Choo Shin-soo in the United States and Lee Byung-kyu of Chunichi Dragons and closer Lim Chang-yong of Yakult Swallows in Japan.

In addition to Korea, China, Japan, Canada, Cuba, Taiwan, the Netherlands and the United States will compete for medals at the Beijing Olympics.

The Korean national team is scheduled to play its first game against the United States team at 7 p.m. on Aug. 13.


By Park Sang-woo Staff Reporter [spark@joongang.co.kr]




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