1996 Korean Series

From BR Bullpen

The 1996 Korean Series was the 14th Korean Series. It would be the 8th won by the Haitai Tigers, topping the Hyundai Unicorns (who were making their debut in a Korean Series).

Haitai had won the regular-season title at 73-51-2 under manager Eung-ryong Kim. Three players were named best at their position in the 1996 KBO: SS Jong-beom Lee (.332/.425/.566, 25 HR, 94 R, a league-high 57 steals), 3B Hyun-woo Hong (.332/.453/.533, 30 2B, 17 HR) and DH Jae-yong Park (an odd pick as he hit .246/.316/.338). They had several stellar hurlers in Kye-hyun Cho (16-7, 2.07), Dae-jin Lee (16-8, 3 Sv, 2.37), Kang-cheol Lee (10-9, 2.46) and Jung-soo Kim (6-3, 18 Sv, 2.01).

Hyundai had finished only 4th at 67-54-5 for manager Jae-bak Kim but had topped the Hanwha Eagles and Ssangbangwool Raiders in the playoffs to advance to the Series. They had two players deemed the top at their positions: 1B Kyung-ki Kim (.274/.360/.464, 20 HR) and OF Jae-hong Park (.295/.369/.559, 36 SB, a league-leading 30 HR and 108 RBI). Park was the first 30-30 player in Korea Baseball Organization history and won the KBO Rookie of the Year. Sung-yong Lee (.280/.389/.447) was a third key hitter. The pitching staff was led by Myung-won Jeong (8-5, 26 Sv, 1.58), Ung-cheon Cho (6-5, 3 Sv, 2.11), Min-tae Jeong (15-9, 2.44) and Jae-yeong Wi (12-7, 2.72).

In game one, on October 16, at Moodeung Stadium, Haitai won, 8-3. Dae-jin Lee got the win, Jae-yeong Wi the loss and Jung-soo Kim the save. Over half of the Series's homers came today, as Kyung-ki Kim and Jae-hong Park homered for all the Hyundai runs, while Hyun-woo Hong, Jae-yong Park and Hae-sik Choi all went deep for the victors. In game 2 the next day, Hyundai won, 2-1, with Woong-cheon Cho getting thewin and Jung-soo Kim the loss.

After a day off, the Series moved to Hyundai's home park, where Haitai won, 5-0, behind Kang-cheol Lee. Wi took the defeat. On October 20, Hyundai made history in a 4-0 win as Myung-won Jeong tossed the first no-hitter ever in a Korean Series, beating Dae-jin Lee. Haitai would take the last two games, though at Jamsil Stadium. On October 22, Kye-hyun Cho got a 3-1 win over Min-tae Jeong, saved by Kang-cheol Lee. Ho-seong Lee drilled a two-run homer in the third. On October 23, Haitai wrapped it up, 5-2, as Kang-cheol Lee got his second win to pick up Korean Series MVP honors. Game 4 hero Myung-won Jeong lost, while Dae-jin Lee notched a save. Kyung-ki Kim hit a homer in a losing cause.

Source: Korean Wikipedia entry