Lions’ Yang to hang up cleats

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Lions’ Yang to hang up cleats

Yang Joon-hyuk of the Samsung Lions, who dominates the record books in most major offensive categories, has decided to retire from baseball at the end of the season.

“The younger guys on the team are playing well, and as the oldest player on the team I’ve been pondering which decision would give our team the best shot at winning,” Yang said in a statement released by the club yesterday. “I think it’s best... to give the younger guys more opportunities to play as part of an overall effort to rebuild the team.”

The 41-year-old outfielder broke into the KBO in 1993 and made an immediate impact by leading the league with a .341 batting average and winning Rookie of the Year honors. Over the course of his 18-year career, Yang set records in most games played (2,131 games), hits (2,318), home runs (351), RBI (1,389), runs (1,299) and walks (1,380). The Lions will set a day in September to commemorate Yang’s retirement.

“I was able to have the type of career I’ve had due to the love and strong support of the fans and the Samsung club,” Yang said. “If possible, I would like to contribute in the postseason and help the Lions win the 2010 Korean Series.”

By Jason Kim []
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