KBO announces 38 Golden Glove contenders

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KBO announces 38 Golden Glove contenders

Samsung Lions slugger, Lee Seung-yeop, could still break records for winning the most titles in the Korea Baseball Organization after he made the shortlist for the 2012 Golden Glove Awards yesterday.

The KBO announced a list of 38 players eligible for the Golden Glove Awards given to the best performers in eight categories.

Lee, 36, was one of the four finalists in the designated hitter category, along with Lee Ho-joon of the NC Dinos, Hong Sung-heon of the Lotte Giants and Lee Jing-young of the LG Twins.

It is the first time Lee Seung-yeop has vied for the title as a designated hitter.

The Asian home run record holder received Golden Glove awards seven times in the first-baseman category. That is one shy of the league’s record for most Golden Gloves set by Han Dae-hwa, a former Hanwha Eagles manager, and Yang Joon-hyuk, an SBS baseball commentator.

In his first year back in Korea after eight seasons in Japan, Lee hit .307 with 21 homers and 85 RBI, helping the Lions win their second straight regular season title.

He missed the first baseman nomination, which according to KBO rules, requires playing in at least 88 games, or two thirds of the 133 regular season games, at first base. This season, Lee played first base in 80 games, 76 of them as a starter.

Lions’ ace Jang Won-sam, who led the KBO in wins this season with 17, was named a candidate in the pitcher category along with his teammate, Oh Seung-hwan, who was the league leader with 37 saves. Ryu Hyun-jin (9-9), the ace of the bottom-place Eagles, who is in talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers, also was on the pitchers’ list, along with foreigners Mitch Talbot (14-3) of the Lions, Brandon Knight (16-4) of the Nexen Heroes and Scott Proctor (4-4) of the Doosan Bears.

Park Byung-ho of the Nexen Heroes, the 2012 MVP, was chosen in the first-base category, where he will compete with Kim Tae-kyun of the Eagles, Park Jung-kwon of the SK Wyverns and Park Jong-yoon of the Giants.

The Lions, the 2012 Korean Series winner, fielded eight candidates in six categories while the Wyverns, who lost to Samsung in the series, placed six players in six categories, including Lee Ho-joon, who signed with the Dinos after the season.

The Golden Glove award winners will be decided in the vote by a group of journalists, commentators and sports media outlet officials between today and Dec. 9. The winners will be announced during an award ceremony to be held at the Coex Convention Center in southern Seoul on Dec. 11.

By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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