Choi Jung surpasses Lee Seung-yup to become the KBO’s ‘most prolific scorer’

SSG Landers’ Choi Jeong-jeong made KBO history by surpassing Lee Seung-yeop as the league’s all-time leader in runs scored.

Choi started at third base and batted third against the Hanwha Eagles in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on June 6. After scoring one run the previous day to tie current Doosan Bears head coach Lee Seung-yup (Samsung) for the most runs scored in history with 1,355, Choi added one more run on the day to surpass Lee’s record.

With SSG leading 1-0 in the top of the third inning, Choi hit a first-pitch fastball from Hanwha starter Lee Tae-yang to left field to bring in Choi Ji-hoon, who was on first base. Choi then came home on Guillermo Heredia’s double to left field to add one more run to his career total, eventually surpassing Lee’s 1,355.

They added another run in the top of the seventh. With the bases loaded and Kim Bum-soo on second, Choi walked and came home on Heredia’s double, extending his career total to 1,357.

Lee scored his last run on October 3, 2017, in his retirement game. Six years and 2164 days later, Choi surpassed that mark, becoming the player with the most home runs in the KBO’s 42-season history. Lee was 41 years, 1 month, and 15 days old when he reached the milestone, while Choi was 36 years, 6 months, and 9 days old.

Choi made his debut with the SK Wyverns in 2005 and played 19 seasons with the same team until this year. While she has never won the title of most points in a season, she has finished in the top 10 eight times, including a second-place finish in 2012 with 85 points, and has consistently ranked among the top offensive players each season.

In addition to his home runs, which can put runs on the board immediately, he’s also created situations for himself to get into scoring position, ranking seventh all-time in the four-ball category and second among active players (972) and stealing 172 bases in his career.

He has scored the most runs in a game six times, most notably on April 8, 2017, against NC at Literature Stadium, when he recorded his fourth career four-run game, as all four of his hits were home runs (third all-time at the time).

However, the team’s extra innings loss meant they couldn’t smile. On the day, SSG fell to Hanwha 5-6 in 11 extra innings, ending their two-game winning streak.

SSG took the lead in the top of the first inning against Hanwha’s Itaoyang, as Choo Shin-soo led off with a single up the middle, advanced to second on a grounder by Choi Ji-hoon, and came home on a timely double by Choi Jung.

With the lead, SSG added two more runs in the top of the third. Choi Ji-hoon led off with a straight bunt and came home on a double by Choi Jung, who took advantage of Lee Tae-yang’s first-pitch fastball, and Eredia, who also hit a first-pitch fastball, scored on a double by Choi Jung. The score was 3-0.

Hanwha chipped away at the deficit. In the bottom of the third, Jung Eun-won led off with an infield single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Noh Si-hwan followed with a single to right, putting runners on first and third. Jung Eun-won, who was on third base, tagged up on Chae Eun-sung’s sacrifice fly to score a run and make it 1-3.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the team scored three runs to take the lead. Choi In-ho was hit by a pitch and Lee Jin-young walked to put runners on first and second with nobody out, but Choi Jae-hoon singled to right to put runners on first and second, and Jung Eun-won singled to score Lee Jin-young.

After a nine-pitch battle with Kim Kwang-hyun, Oh lined a single to left, scoring Choi Jae-hoon to tie the game at 3-3. With runners on first and second, Noh Si-hwan singled home Jung Eun-won to give Hanwha a 4-3 lead.

The score changed again in the top of the seventh inning. With Lee Tae-yang having been relieved by the bullpen since the top of the sixth 스포츠토토 inning due to mild calf and hamstring cramps, Ha Jae-hoon singled against Kim Bum-soo in the top of the seventh, and Choi Eun-jeong followed with a hit by pitch to put runners on first and second. Heredia followed with an RBI double to bring both runners home and regain the lead at 5-4.

However, in the bottom of the ninth, Seo Jin-yong gave up consecutive singles to Choi In-ho, Jang Jin-hyuk, and Park Sang-un to tie the game at 5-5.

The game went into extra innings, where SSG failed to score against Park Sang-won and Jang Si-hwan in the top of the 10th and 11th innings, respectively, and Lee I-roon gave up the final out to Jung Eun-won in the bottom of the 11th inning, leaving SSG with a heartbreaking loss.

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