Kang-don Lee (이강돈)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 187 lb.
Kang-don Lee was a two-time hit leader in the Korea Baseball Organization.
Lee played for the South Korean national team in the 1984 Amateur World Series, going just 3 for 28 with 10 strikeouts, 3 walks and 2 doubles, backing up Kai-young Choi in CF and Ki-woong Kang at DH. He made his pro debut with the Binggrae Eagles, hitting .297/.370/.458 in 1986 and finishing among the league leaders in average (6th), triples (6, 2nd, 2 behind Sang-hun Kim), walks (41, 8th), home runs (10, tied for 9th) and hits (103, 10th).
He batted .268/.321/.350 for the 1987 Eagles with a horrendous steal success rate, stealing four bases in 19 tries. One bright spot came August 27, when he hit for the cycle, the second player in league history to do so. In 1988, the 27-year-old hit .313/.355/.430 and was among the leaders in hits (118, 3rd, behind Sung-han Kim and Soon-chul Lee), runs (57, 6th), triples (4, tied for 8th), average (9th), RBI (56, 8th) and doubles (26, 1st, tied with Soon-chul Lee). He joined two other Lees, Soon-chul Lee and Jeong-hoon Lee, in winning the Gold Gloves in the outfield; in the KBO, the Gold Glove is an all-purpose award, not just defense.
The Pohang native faded a bit, to .295/.342/.422, in 1989. He was 8th in the KBO in average, second in runs (67, a distant 26 behind Sung-han Kim), hits (137, 1st, 16 more than anyone else), RBI (66, 3rd, trailing Seung-an Yoo and Sung-han Kim) and doubles (24, tied for 3rd with Min-ho Kim). He won another Gold Glove, joining Il-kwon Kim and Won-bu Go as the outfield winners. In 1990, Kang-don had his best OPS season, producing at a .335/.400/.518 clip. He was among the leaders in runs (81, 1st, 8 ahead of Jong-hun Jang), hits (146, 1st, six more than Dae-hwa Han), average (2nd, losing the batting title to Han by .00006), OBP (4th), slugging (3rd after Jong-hun Jang and Man-soo Lee), doubles (20, tied for 7th), triples (6, tied for 3rd), home runs (16, 4th) and RBI (84, 3rd, after Jang and Hwa). He won his third Gold Glove, picked with Jeong-hoon Lee and Ho-seong Lee.
Lee hit .265/.335/.416 in 1991 and did not finish among the league leaders in anything. He still won his fourth Gold Glove in a row (and last one), joining Ho-seong Lee and Soon-chul Lee in his third all-Lee outfield. He was better in 1992, batting .320/.379/.524 and finishing 5th in average, tied for 10th in hits (129), 4th in triples (8) and tied for 5th in doubles (27). He struggled in 1993 (.233/.303/.336) but was named All-Star Game MVP. The Eagles became the Hanwha Eagles in 1994 and Lee hit .278/.348/.366. Lee hit .248/.319/.372 in 1995 and .240/.331/.362 in 1996. He went 4 for 22 with two walks and a homer in 1997 to end his 12-year playing career.
Overall, Lee had hit .284/.347/.420 in 1,217 KBO games, with 533 runs, 556 RBI, 202 doubles, 87 homers and 88 steals (caught 75 times).
He later was a coach for the Daiei Hawks (1998, Hanwha (1999 and 2002) and the Lotte Giants (2003, 2009-2012). He was head coach of Cheongju Technical High School (2006-2008), Cheongju High School (2008-2009) and Bugil Academy (2013- , succeeding Jeong-hoon Lee).