KBO’s home run king named to All-Star team

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KBO’s home run king named to All-Star team

Lee Seung-yeop was picked as a Korea Baseball Organization All-Star for the first time in 10 years, after the Samsung Lions slugger broke Korea’s career home run record last month.

The KBO yesterday announced 22 fan choices from the All-Star votes and Lee was one of 11 position winners for the Eastern League. The 36-year-old garnered 960,031 votes, winning the first baseman category over Park Jong-yoon of the Lotte Giants (677,889).

On June 20, Lee hit his 352nd home run in the KBO, surpassing the previous record for career home runs held by his former Lions teammate, Yang Joon-hyuk.

The Asian record-holder for the most single-season homers was picked as an All-Star for seven straight years through 2003. After returning from an eight-year stint in Japan, he declined a manager recommendation to become a 2012 All-Star, saying he wanted to give the opportunity to a younger player.

The voting for the All-Stars, who will play the mid-season game in Pohang on July 19, was held between June 10 and Sunday. A total of 2,217,846 votes were counted as of 6 p.m. Sunday, the first time that more than 2 million votes were cast in KBO history. It surpassed the previous record, 1,721,475, set last year, within three weeks of the opening of the vote.

Bong Jung-keun, who is pitching for the LG Twins, came out on top with the most votes. The former Atlanta Braves pitcher received 1,174,593 votes, or 53 percent, as he won the Western League relievers’ category. Oh Seung-hwan of the Samsung Lions received the second most votes with 1,135,011, as he won the Eastern League relievers’ category.

Song Seung-jun, a Lotte Giants starter, received 660,277 votes, the fourth straight year he won the Eastern League pitchers’ race.

The KBO will announce a 24-member manager pick roster tomorrow.

BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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