The Lotte Giants have hired former Doosan Bears manager Kim Tae-hyung (56)메이저사이트, who accomplished the feat of reaching the Korean Series for the seventh consecutive year. The decision was made by Lotte Giants owner Shin Dong-bin. Lotte Giants fans are excited. It’s reminiscent of Kim “Yashin” Sung-geun, who took over after the end of the 2014 season with a lot of fan support. The reason why Lotte fans are so enthusiastic is that this is a manager who has proven his leadership skills with strong charisma and results.
The Lotte Giants officially announced in a press release at 2:00 p.m. on the 20th that “Lotte has appointed Kim Tae-hyung as the 21st manager of the Lotte Giants on the 20th.” The press release continued, “The contract is for three years. “The contract is for a period of three years with a total of 2.4 billion won ($600,000 down payment and $600,000 annual salary),” Lotte added.
After graduating from Shinil High School and Dankook University, Kim joined the OB Bears in 1990 and played until 2001. Upon retirement, he worked as a battery coach for the Doosan Bears and the SK Wyverns before embarking on his first head coaching career in 2015, taking over the reins of the Doosan Bears for eight years.
Kim Tae-hyung said through the club, “I understand the weight of being the manager of the Lotte Giants. I would like to thank the Lotte fans and owner Shin Dong-bin for choosing Kim Tae-hyung. I will reward the expectations of the fans who have been waiting for a long time and deliver results.”
Kim Tae-hyung will be inaugurated at the Sapphire Room (41F) of Lotte Hotel Busan at 2 p.m. on April 24, and will meet with the team during the final training session at the Sangdong Stadium on April 25.
In addition, Lotte explained that the next head coach is in the process of being selected. Lotte started in 2020 under current manager Sung Min-kyu, but had not played fall baseball for four years until this season. Ahead of this season, Lotte made a bold free-agent investment to strengthen the catcher position, which has been a perennial weakness. After signing Yoo Kang-nam (4 years, 8 billion won), the team added infielder Noh Jin-hyuk (4 years, 5 billion won) and pitcher Han Hyun-hee (3+1 years, 4 billion won), but the results were not promising.
Lotte President Sung Min-kyu (left) and CEO Lee Kang-hoon.
The Lotte Giants were founded in 1982 and are one of the most popular teams among the KBO’s 10 clubs. The team has been a part of Korean baseball history, loved by fans in Busan, the ‘capital of baseball’. However, despite their popularity, the team hasn’t had much success on the field. The last time they won the Korean Series was in 1992, making them the oldest of the 10 teams. Lotte, which won its first championship in 1984, also produced two Korean baseball heroes: the late Choi Dong-won and Lee Dae-ho. Choi Dong-won’s number 11 and Lee Dae-ho’s number 10 have been permanently retired.
The Lotte Giants have had numerous managers over the years. The first manager, Park Young-gil, led the team from the inaugural season until July 1983, then acting manager Kang Byung-cheol took over as the second manager and led the team until 1986. Kang remains the manager who led the Lotte Giants to their only championship. After winning the 1984 Korean Series, Kang led Lotte to its last Korean Series title in 1992. He was succeeded by Sung Ki-young (January-October 1987), Uhm Hong (October 1987-November 1989), and Kim Jin-young (November 1989-August 1990) before Kang was reappointed as the sixth manager of the franchise for the 1991 season. Byung-chul Kang led the team to two postseason appearances, including the 1993 Korean Series title.
Kim Yong-hee (November 1993-June 1998) was the seventh head coach of Lotte for more than four seasons, and in June 1998, Kim Myung-sung, who had served as acting head coach, was named the eighth head coach. He led the team to two postseason appearances before passing the baton to the ninth head coach, Woo Yong-duk, in 2001. In 2002, Baek Incheon became the 10th head coach. In 2004 and 2005, Yang Sang-moon led the team as the 11th head coach, and in 2006 and 2007, Kang Byung-cheol returned to the Lotte organization, becoming the third manager to lead the team.
The turning point for Lotte came in 2007. In 2007, Lotte hired Jerry Royster, the first foreigner in the club’s history. During his tenure until October 2010, Royster delighted Busan fans by taking the team to the postseason every season. He sparked the “Royster fever” in Busan when he took Lotte, which had a so-called “8888677” record at the time, to the final three spots in 2008, his first year in charge. Royster led Lotte to the semi-playoffs in 2009, but the team fell short, and he left the team in 2010 after the team missed the semi-playoffs and his contract was not renewed.
The 2011 and 2012 seasons were led by the 14th coach, Yang Seung-ho, followed by the 15th coach, Kim Si-jin, in 2013 and 2014, and Lee Jong-woon in 2015. Yang Seung-ho also led the team to fall baseball twice. However, it wasn’t until the 17th coach, Cho Won-woo, took over that Lotte returned to the postseason. In 2017, Lotte experienced fall baseball, but again failed to reach the postseason. The 18th manager, Yang Sang-moon, stepped down after the 2019 season and was briefly replaced by Gong Pil-sung, and the 19th manager, Heo Moon-ho, was hired ahead of the 2020 season, but he also left the team in May 2021. Larry Sutton then took over as the 20th head coach of Lotte until last August, when he left midway through the season due to health issues, and acting head coach Lee Jong-woon took over to finish the season.
Now, Lotte is starting over with Kim Tae-hyung at the helm. Lotte fans have high expectations. This is a coach who has proven himself in the past. After graduating from Hwagye Secondary School, Shinil Middle School, Shinil High School, and Dankook University, Kim joined the OB Bears (now Doosan Bears) as a college rookie in 1990. In his first year with the team, Tae-hyung appeared in 87 games from the 1990 season and made a name for himself as a defensive catcher. By the time he retired from active duty in 2001, Kim had a career batting average of .235 (1835-for-432) with nine home runs, 157 RBI, 163 runs scored, 12 doubles, 100 walks and 164 strikeouts. In 1995 and 2001, he won the Korean Series as an active player. He also served as the team’s captain from 1998 to 2000. Afterward, Kim served as the Doosan Bears’ starting catcher and battery coach for 22 years until 2011, when he became the battery coach for the SK Wyverns (now the SSG Landers) after the 2011 season.
Manager Kim Tae-hyung gets a rinse from Doosan players after winning the 2019 Korean Series.
Kim Tae-hyung took over the reins of the Doosan Bears in October 2014 after the pennant race ended. Since then, Kim has built a solid foundation. In 2015, his first season in charge, he led the team to a third-place finish in the regular season before advancing to the Korean Series, where they swept the then-dynastic Samsung Lions. Coincidentally, he became the first manager to lead a team to the Korean Series title in his first year, alongside then-Samsung manager Ryu Jung-il. It was the first time Doosan had won a championship in 14 years since 2001, making him the first manager to win a championship with the same team he won it with as a player. The following year, in 2016, he led Doosan to its first overall title in 21 years and its second straight Korean Series title. In the 2017 season, Kim led the team through the playoffs and into the Korean Series, where they were swept by the Kia Tigers.
In 2018, Kim led the team to the pennant race, finishing a whopping 14.5 games ahead of the second-place SK Wyverns. In June 2018, they became the first team in KBO history to win at least 300 games (300 wins, 4 ties, and 191 losses in 495 games). However, he was swept in the Korean Series by SK in four games to two and experienced his second career Korean Series runner-up finish. In the 2019 season, the team went straight to the Korean Series again and swept the Kiwoom Heroes to reach the V6. After the season, he re-signed with the team for a total of 2.8 billion won ($2 billion) over three years, following a record deal in the winter of 2016. In the 2020 season, the team finished the regular season in third place and advanced to the Korean Series for the sixth consecutive year through the semi-playoffs and playoffs. During the 2020 season, the team also set the record for fewest 500 wins in 841 games. This time, however, they had to settle for a runner-up finish as the NC Dinos held them off, and in 2021, for the first time in their history, they played fall baseball from the wild-card game onward. The Bears made it to an unprecedented seventh consecutive Korean Series, knocking off fifth-ranked Kiwoom, third-ranked LG, and second-ranked Samsung, only to lose the title to KT Wiz. After stepping down as manager of the Doosan Bears at the end of last season, he turned into a commentator this season and won the favor of many baseball fans with his witty remarks.
Kim Sung-geun, former manager of Hanwha.
Head coach Kim Tae-hyung. /Photo=News1
Kim Tae-hyung built a dynasty in the late 2010s, leading his team to three championships and three runner-up finishes. But no dynasty lasts forever. Pitchers and hitters in their prime would leave for other teams as free agents or retire. At one point, it was said that you couldn’t know a pitcher’s true skill until you faced Doosan Bears hitters, and there was even talk in baseball circles that Doosan was helping to level the playing field in the KBO. In the meantime, Kim Tae-hyung has always led the team to the top of the standings, and he has always been a bold competitor, even in short-term games. Similarly, the process of selecting Kim Tae-hyung is reminiscent of the Hanwha Eagles’ appointment of Kim Sung-geun “Yashin” Kim before the 2015 season. Kim is known in Korean baseball history for his intense charisma and so-called “hell training” regimen. Lotte has not received a fall baseball invitation for six consecutive years since 2017. In the last six years, Lotte’s ranking has been “7th-10th-7th-8th-8th-7th”. At the time, Hanwha fans, like Lotte’s current fans, longed for a “mastermind,” and eventually the group handpicked Kim Sung-geun with full support, sparking the “Hanwha Syndrome” in the baseball world. Kim Tae-hyung also took the helm of Lotte this time around, to the delight of Lotte fans who were disappointed with the team’s recent struggles in the bottom half of the standings. Of course, this was only possible because of the decision of Lotte Giants owner Shin Dong-bin. Now, Lotte fans have high hopes for Kim’s leadership, saying they’d rather see the team play in the fall baseball season than win a championship.
Meanwhile, Kim finished the 2015 regular season in third place with 79 wins, 65 losses (0.549 winning percentage), and then led the team to the top spot in 2016 with 93 wins, 50 losses, and one tie (0.650 winning percentage). In 2017, the team finished second with 82 wins, 56 losses, and three draws (0.594 win percentage), followed by 93 wins, 51 losses, and 0.646 win percentage in 2018 and 88 wins, 55 losses, and one draw in 2019, before finishing third with 79 wins, 61 losses, and four draws (0.564 win percentage) in 2020 and fourth with 71 wins, 65 losses, and eight draws in 2021. Last season, they finished ninth with 60 wins, 82 losses, and two draws (0.423 winning percentage). In eight regular season seasons in the KBO, the team has a record of 645 wins, 485 losses, and 19 ties (winning percentage of 0.561). His postseason record is 36 wins and 24 losses in 60 games for a winning percentage of 6 percent. He is ninth on the all-time wins list behind Kim Eung-yong (1554 wins, 1288 losses, 68 draws), Kim Sung-geun (1388 wins, 1203 losses, 60 draws), Kim In-sung (978 wins, 1033 losses, 45 draws), Kim Jae-bak (936 wins, 830 losses, 46 draws), Kang Byung-chul (914 wins, 1015 losses, 33 draws), Kim Kyung-moon (896 wins, 774 losses, 30 draws), Kim Young-duk (707 wins, 480 losses, 20 draws), and Ryu Joong-il (691 wins, 533 losses, 18 draws). With the 2023 postseason in full swing, baseball fans are already excited to see what Kim Tae-hyung’s Lotte will look like next season.