Lee Seung-yeop, Park Byung-ho, and Choi Jeong…KBO’s third 20-homer season in eight years, fourth home run king in sight

SSG slugger Choi Jung (36) has hit 20 home runs for the eighth consecutive year.

Choi hit a solo home run to left field off Oh Seung-hwan with the bases loaded in the ninth inning at Daegu Samsung Electronics on April 27. Choi took a 147-kilometer fastball from Oh Seung-hwan’s fourth pitch and smashed it 120 meters for a grand slam. It was his 20th home run of the season, 33 days and 11 games since his last one against the Moonhwa Samsung on April 24. The home run came in the bottom of the ninth inning after a series of injuries, including a thigh strain in the first half.

Although SSG went 5-6, their record at the top is noteworthy. It was their eighth straight 20-homer season, dating back to 2016, which is the third-longest streak in KBO history. It’s a feat that only two other players, Lee Seung-yeop and Park Byung-ho, have ever accomplished.

Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop, the “national hitter,” was the first to hit 20 or more home runs in eight consecutive seasons from 1997-2012 (excluding his overseas stint from 2004-2011) while playing for Samsung. Park Byung-ho (KT), the “national slugger,” holds the longest streak in the category with nine consecutive seasons of 20+ home runs from 2012-2022 (excluding his overseas stint in 2016-2017).

Unlike Lee and Byung-ho, Choi hit 20 or more home runs in eight consecutive seasons while playing exclusively in the KBO without an overseas stint. While Lee and Park began their careers in their early to mid-20s, Choi started at a relatively late age at 29, with the majority of his records coming in his 30s and beyond, until his age 36 season 토토사이트.

He was called a “boy wonder” from the beginning of his career and recognized for his natural power, but it wasn’t until 2016 that he became a “big gun” type. He won his first home run title that year, surpassing the 30-homer mark for the first time in his career and reaching 40. The following year, he won his second consecutive home run title with a career-high 46 in 2017.

In 2021, Choi won his third individual home run title with 35 home runs and is currently tied for first place in the category with Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha). Choi has the advantage in the home run race as Noh will be away for three weeks starting in late September after being selected for the Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team.

If Choi wins the home run title again this year, it will be the fourth time in his career, behind only Lee Seung-yup and Park Byung-ho. Lee won the title five times from 1997-1999 and 2001-2003, while Park won the title six times from 2012-2015 and 2019-2022.

Choi also has 449 career home runs, ranking second all-time and first among active players. He is 18 home runs shy of Lee Seung-yeop’s 467 career home runs.

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