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1996 Korean Series

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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

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