South Korea national baseball team

South Korea national baseball team

Infobox National baseball team

Name = South Korea national baseball team
Country = flag|South Korea
Federation = Korea Baseball Association
Confederation = Baseball Federation of Asia
Manager =
Olympic apps = 3
Olympic first = 1996
Olympic best = Gold Medal (2008)
WBC apps = 1
WBC first = 2006
WBC best = Semi-final
WC apps =
WC first =
WC best = Champion (1982)
IC apps =
IC first =
IC best = Champion (1977)
AG apps = 4
AG first = 1994
AG best = Gold Medal (1998, 2002)

The South Korea national baseball team is the national baseball team of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). It has participated in the Summer Olympic Games in 1984, 1988, 1996 and 2000. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, it won the gold medal in a final victory against Cuba.

Until the 1998 Baseball World Cup, the team was made up exclusively of amateur players. At the 2000 Summer Olympics, the team was composed of players from the Korean Baseball Organization and Korean players from Nippon Professional Baseball.

Baseball at the 2008 Summer Olympics

After losing 4-3 to Japan at the 2007 Asian Baseball Championships, the Koreans finished with a 2-1 record and were forced to seek entrance to the 2008 Olympics via the Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be held March 7th-14th, 2008 in Taichung, Chinese Taipei.

The Korean Roster, for the qualifying, is mainly comprised of professional players from the Korea Baseball Organization and is not subjected to the scheduling conflicts that troubled the teams from Australia, Canada, and Mexico. [ [ CANOE -- SLAM! Sports - Baseball: Olympic Squad Handcuffed] . Accessed on 2008-02-16.]

The 30 player provisional lineup is found here.

Going into the tournament rated by the experts as an outsider, or a dark horse at most, South Korea surprised everybody by finishing the group stage in first place with a perfect 7-0 record. The team began its run with come from behind win against heavily favored United States, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning with a sacrifice fly. Disappointment soon followed the next game, however, as China (undeniably the weakest team in the tournament) stymied Korea for most of the game before the game was suspended because of rain in the 6th inning with a 0-0 score. Korea bounced back the following day with a tightly contested 1-0 victory over Canada, with Ryu Hyun-Jin recording a complete game shutout. After dispatching their rivals Japan 5-3 in the next game, Korea finished off China in the continuation of the aforementioned suspended game by winning 1-0 in the extra innings. Korea then clinched their place in the final four by dispatching Chinese Taipei 9-8, followed by another surprise victory over heavily favored Cubans, 7-4 (which guaranteed them finishing first place in the group round). The team finished their Round Robin Tournament in style, hammering the Netherlands 10-0 and beating them on mercy rule.

In the Semifinal match, the team was once again matched up against their arch-rivals Japan (who were suspected by some for not trying their hardest against their final opponent in group stage, United States, in order to face the supposedly easier Koreans rather than tournament favorites Cuba in the Semis). Japan controlled the early portion of the game, leading 2-1 going into the 7th inning. Korea soon tied the ballgame at 2 apiece in the bottom half, then took the lead in the 8th thanks in large part to Lee Seung-Yeop's clutch 2-run home run. Korea added 2 more runs that inning, and the game eventually ended with a 6-2 Korean victory. In the finals they overcame the perennial favorites Cuba for the second time in the tournament, surviving a bases-loaded 9th inning situation with a double play to win the game 3-2, bringing Korea its first-ever team gold medal in any Olympic Men's event.

2006 World Baseball Classic

The team playing in the 2006 World Baseball Classic also included Korean players from Major League Baseball. In the Classic, the team played in and won every game they played in Pool A. They advanced to round two, again winning all three games to secure a place in the semifinals. Upon reaching the semifinals, the South Korean government announced that it would waive for the players on the team the mandatory two-year military service required of all young Korean men. However, at the semifinals, the Korean team lost to Japan, whom they had beaten twice previously. This led to controversy over the regulations of the WBC concerning the fact that Korea had to face Japan three times and that it was Japan that was allowed to go to the finals, when it had four victories and three losses up to that point, two of those losses to Korea, while the Korean team, which had only one loss and had already beaten Japan twice, was eliminated from the finals.

Other 2006 events

Despite starting off the 2006 Intercontinental Cup with a 10-0 mercy rule victory over the Philippines, the Koreans had a disappointing tournament, winning only two games in the round robin round and finishing seventh of eight teams.

The Koreans earned a bronze medal in the Asian Games in November 2006.

World Baseball Classic record

*2006 - 3rd place

Olympic record

*1984 - 4th place (demonstration sport)
*1988 - 4th place (demonstration sport)
*1992 - Did not qualify
*1996 - 8th place
*2000 - Bronze Medal
*2004 - Did not qualify
*2008 - Gold Medal

Baseball World Cup record

Gold:1 (1982)

Silver: 5 (1980, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2005)

Bronze: 2 (1978, 1990)

Intercontinental Cup record

Gold:1 (1977)

Silver: 2 (1985, 2002)

Asian Games record

*1994 - Silver Medal
*1998 - Gold Medal
*2002 - Gold Medal
*2006 - Bronze Medal

Asian Baseball Championship record

Gold:7 (1963, 1971, 1975, 1983, 1989, 1997, 1999)

Silver: 10 (1959, 1962, 1965, 1967, 1973, 1985, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2007)

Bronze: 5 (1954, 1955, 1987, 1991, 2003)

Notable Wins


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