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KT Wiz - Wizard Mascot Design Contest

Jul
23

Following the success of their public team-naming contest, KT is at it again. The KT Wiz, which will become the tenth KBO team beginning in the 2015 season, is accepting submissions from the public to design the team's mascot.

Full details about the contest can be found here (Korean only). I will also provide some information below just in case we have some creative types among our readers.

  • Design Guidelines
    • KT Wiz "Wizard Mascot" design concept
    • Wizard Image Expression
    • Wizard design that fits the KT Wiz Baseball Team
    • Designs that are distinct and easily distinguishable from other wizards
    • Imaginative and creative designs
  • Evaluation Criteria
    • Originality, easily distinguishable from other submissions(30 points)
    • Imagination/Creativity (30 points)
    • Wizard, KT Wiz brand image compatibility (20 points)
    • Theme Expression (10 points)
    • Number of images (10 points) (maximum of 5 images)
  • Submission Guidelines
    • Method: Postal submissions only
    • Mailing Address:
      • KT Sports Public Relations Department, Gyeonggi-do, Seongnam-si, Bundang-gu Sampyeong-dong 670, U-Space Building 1-A-dong 1106-ho (463-400)
      • (경기도 성남시 분당구 삼평동 670번지 유스페이스 1-A동 1106호 KT스포츠 홍보팀 (463-400))
    • Format: unlimited (pencil, pastel, paint, marker, etc. computer-aided designs are also acceptable but must be printed for submission. Absolutely no electronic submissions, discs, memory cards, etc)
    • Size: A3 or smaller
  • Deadlines
    • All entries must be received no later than August 26, 2013
    • Winners will be anounced in September 2013
  • Prizes
    • First Prize (1 person): 1 million won + certificate
    • Second Prize (2 people): iPad Mini + certificate
    • Third Prize (3 people): 100,000 won department store gift certificate + certificate
    • Honorable Mention (20 people): 50,000 won culture gift certificate 
  • ​Aditionally, all entrants will be placed in a random drawing for the following prizes
    • ​10 people: KT Wiz jersey and autographed baseball
    • 100 people: 5,000 won culture gift certificate
  • Rules
    • Prize winners are responsible for paying any applicable taxes
    • Submitted materials/designs will not be returned
    • By entering the contest, all designs submitted become property of KT Wiz
    • All designs must be your own original creation and may not contain any images that violate foreign or domestic copyrights, trademarks, patents, etc.
    • Any designs which violate rules will be disqualified. If rule violations are discovered after the contest, prizes must be returned.

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Hankins arrives in Korea, likely to start this week

Jul
22

An article at Sportsworld gives some updates on the newest foreign pitcher in the KBO, Derek Hankins. Read the translation below.

Doosan's New Foreign Pitcher to Start This Week

Expectations for the Doosan Bears’ new foreign pitcher Derek Hankins are continuing to grow. Doosan manager Kim Jin-Wook said “Hankins won’t spend any time in the minors or pitching out of the bullpen. We expect him to start right away.” There is a strong possibility that he will get his first start this weekend against LG.

Hankins arrived in Korea on July 18, and the very next day, July 19, he met his manager, coaches, and teammates at Jamsil Stadium. Before he even got over the jetlag he was throwing in the bullpen, and made a few practice pitches to get a feel for the Jamsil Stadium mound. On July 22 Hankins went to Japan to receive his work visa, and was unable to practice with his new team. He will return to Korea and will be officially added to the roster on July 23.

Manager Kim Jin-Wook was more interested than anyone in Hankins performance, and watched attentively from the first pitch. At the Doosan team practice on July 22 Kim said “Hankins is eager and his form looks good. He hasn’t pitched in an actual game since July 6, but he has been pitching consistently in the bullpen. There aren’t any issues with his condition. He doesn’t need to spend any time in the minors or coming out of the bullpen. He is ready to start right away.”

Kim said, “After watching him pitch, he has plenty of ability. There is even some movement on his fastball right at the end. Above all, he has a clean motion, more like an Asian pitcher. The angle of his foot is great, and he holds on to the ball until the last moment. He is not a power pitcher. He has a quick delivery from the stretch, better than other foreign pitchers I have seen. At this point, the key for him is adapting and becoming comfortable on the mound.”

by Song Yong-Joon, Sportsworld

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2013 KBO All-Star Game Wrap-up

Jul
20

Eastern League 4 - Western League 2, Pohang
[Box Score] [Video Highlights] [Full Game Video]

The Western League got the scoring started in the bottom of the 2nd when LG first baseman Kim Yong-Ui hit a 2-run homerun to right field off of Eastern starting pitcher Song Seung-Jun of the Lotte Giants. Unfortunately for the Western stars, this would be the only scoring they would see for the entire game. The Eastern team got their first run in the top of the 3rd when Lotte shortstop Shin Bon-Ki hit an RBI double to drive in teammate Jeon Jun-Woo. The Western League held on to the 2-1 lead until the top of the 7th when Jeon Jun-Woo hit a 2-run homerun off of Song Chang-Sik of the Hanwha Eagles to take the lead at 3-2. Doosan's Lee Jong-Wook added an RBI single in the top of the 8th to give us the final score of 4-2.

All-Star MVP: Jeon Jun-Woo (Lotte)

Homerun Derby Winner: Lee Seung-Yeop (Samsung)

Bunt Contest Winner: Shin Bon-Ki (Lotte)

Perfect Pitcher Contest Winner: Oh Seung-Hwan (Samsung)

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Wednesday KBO Game Highlights (2013/07/17)

Jul
18

SK 10 - Nexen 9, Incheon [Box Score] [Video Highlights]

This rather wild game included 5 homeruns, 5 lead changes, 3 wild pitches, and a total of 11 pitchers taking the mound. SK held a slim lead of 6-5 after 5 innings of play. The score would hold until Nexen hit 3 homeruns in the top of the 8th inning, a solo shot from Moon Woo-Ram for the tie, another solo shot from Kim Min-Seong to take the lead, and capped off with a 2-run homer by pinch hitter Seo Dong-Wook for a couple of insurance runs. Heading into the bottom of the 8th Nexen was leading 9-6. 2 walks and a single by Han Dong-Min allowed the Wyverns to load the bases with 1 out. Third baseman Choi Jeong popped out to center to bring the out count to 2. Nexen closer Son Seung-Lak proceeded to walk in a run to make the score 9-7. Lee Jae-Won then hit a single up the middle that drove in 2 runs to tie the score at 9-9. Center fielder Kim Kang-Min came to the plate and hit another single that brought home the go-ahead run, putting SK ahead with a score of 10-9. The Heroes came up empty in the top of the 9th and the game was over. SK won both games of the short series heading into the All-Star break, and Nexen has now lost 3 in a row.

Doosan 4 - NC 0, Seoul (Jamsil) [Box Score] [Video Highlights]

Dustin Nippert pitched 7 scoreless innings for Doosan, allowing just 3 hits to become the first KBO pitcher to reach 10 wins this season. The Dinos had very little going offensively tonight, and finished the game with just 4 hits, all singles. The Bears were lead by DH Hong Seong-Heun who went 2 for 4 with an RBI. The Bears are on a bit of a hot streak, having now won 13 of their last 17 games.

Dustin Nippert post-game interview (English)

LG 5 - Lotte 3, Busan [Box Score] [Video Highlights]

LG started the scoring early, with an RBI single from Lee Byeong-Kyu in the top of the 1st. The Twins lead by as many as 5 after shortstop Oh Ji-Hwan hit a 3-run homerun in the top of the 8th. Lotte scored 3 in the bottom of the 9th, including a homerun by right fielder Son Ah-Seop, but it wasn't enough to dig themselves out of the hole. LG starter Shin Jung-Rak pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings for the win, while the loss went to Lotte starter Song Seung-Jun. LG takes both games of the series, and is now just a half game behind Samsung for the top spot in the league.

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Tuesday KBO Game Highlights (2013/07/16)

Jul
17

Hanwha 8 - KIA 3, Gwangju [Box Score] [Video Highlights]

This was a very close game, with KIA holding the lead at 3-2 after 6 innings of play. Hanwha managed to tie the game at 3-3 after an RBI double by Kim Dong-Jin in the top of the 9th. The game went into extra innings, and the score remained the same until the top of the 12th when Hanwha came through with 5 runs off of 4 walks, 2 singles, and 2 sacrifices. KIA went down quietly in the bottom half of the inning and the game ended with a score of 8-3. The game lasted 5 hours and 28 minutes, making it the longest game so far this season, and the 7th longest in the history of the KBO. The KIA Tigers continue to struggle to find a way to win games. Following tonight's loss they have only won 2 out of their last 10.

LG 5 - Lotte 3, Busan [Box Score] [Video Highlights]

LG went up 3-0 in the top of the 5th inning following homeruns by Park Yong-Taik and Son Joo-In. LG starting pitcher Radhames Liz looked great at the beginning of the game. He did not allow a single hit through 5 2/3 innings, but once the first one was out of the bag the hits continued for the Giants. Lotte DH Jang Sung-Ho hit a 3-run homerun in the bottom of the 7th to tie the score. The score remained tied and the game eventually went into extra innings. LG shortstop Oh Ji-Hwan hit a 2-run homerun in the top of the 11th to put the Twins ahead 5-3. The Giants failed to score in the bottom half of the inning and the game was over.

SK 6 - Nexen 5, Incheon [Box Score] [Video Highlights]

Nexen first baseman Park Byung-Ho hit a 2-run homerun in the top of the 1st. The homerun plus an RBI single from Oh Yoon put Nexen up 3-0 early. SK's Park Jung-Kwon hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the 2nd and the Wyverns came through for 4 more runs in the bottom of the 4th to take the lead. SK held the lead at 6-3 after 6 innings. The Heroes attempted a comeback, scoring 1 run in the 7th on an RBI double by Yoo Han-Joon. Park Byung-Ho hit his second homerun of the game, a solo shot in the 8th, to bring the score to 6-5, but that was as close as Nexen would get to the comeback. Nexen starting pitcher Brandon Knight lasted just 3 2/3 innings and takes the loss. The win went to SK's Kim Kwang-Hyun who pitched 6 innings allowing 8 hits and 4 runs.

Doosan 5 - NC 1, Seoul (Jamsil) [Box Score] [Video Highlights]

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Doosan signs pitcher Derek Hankins, Olson released

Jul
16

Mydaily is reporting that the Doosan Bears have signed American right-handed pitcher Derek Hankins. Hankins has been playing for the Toledo Mud Huns, the AAA afilliate of the Detroit Tigers. Appearing in 17 games this year Hankins has 4 wins, 4 losses, and an ERA of 3.04. Hankins is 30 years old, 195cm tall, and weighs 88kg. He is expected to arrive in Korea on Friday (July 19).

Hankins will replace Garrett Olson who is being released by the Bears. Olson has struggled all season and finishes his short KBO career after appearing in 10 games with 1 win and 1 loss. He gave up 41 hits and 27 walks in just 38 2/3 innings pitched, ending up with an ERA of 6.52.

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LG infielder Lee Jang-Hee found dead

Jul
16

Several news outlets are reporting that LG Twins infielder Lee Jang-Hee was found dead yesterday. His body was discovered near the enterance of a parking garage in the Songpa District of Seoul around 4pm. So far his death appears to be an accident, but a full investigation is expected.

Lee was just 24 years old. After graduating from Dongguk University he was selected as the 62nd overall pick in the 2012 KBO draft by the LG Twins. He has spent his time in the Futures League (minor league) and was batting .255 this season.

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Korean Sports TV Ratings

Jul
15

I saw an interesting article over at Naver Sports last week discussing TV ratings for various sports programming in Korea, including baseball. With all of the rainouts lately, and today being an off day, I thought it might be fun to take a look at something a little bit different. It's a bit long for a full translation, but I'll try to cover the interesting parts along with some of my own comments.

Not surprisingly, KBO baseball is the most viewed domesting sports league. Here are 2013 KBO ratings from the top 3 cable sports channels. The ratings include games from the beginning of the season until June 30.

  MBC Sports KBS N Sorts SBS-ESPN
Average Rating 1.393% 1.334% 1.148%
Highest Rating 2.643%
(May 5 Nexen vs KIA)
2.520%
(April 5 Lotte vs KIA)
2.128%
(April 18 KIA vs LG)

We can say that MBC may be the most popular sports channel (by a slim margin), but perhaps more striking is the fact that the KIA Tigers seem to draw the biggest TV audience, being involved in all 3 of the most viewed games this year. It may help to understand the significance of these numbers when compared against other sports. See below for other domestic sports ratings

Korea Pro Volleyball Ratings
  MBC S (Men) MBC S (Women) KBS N (Men) KBS N (Women)
Average Rating 0.980% 0.844% 1.036% 0.892%
Korea Pro Basketball Ratings
  MBC Sports KBS N Sports SBS-ESPN
Average Rating 0.280% 0.237% 0.250%
K-League (Soccer) Ratings
  MBC Sports KBS N Sports SBS-ESPN
Average Rating 0.401% 0.333% 0.268%

The most surprising thing to me here is volleyball coming in at number 2 behind baseball. Flipping through the channels you do see volleyball on TV a lot, but I was unaware that there was that big of a following. I've lived in Korea for nearly a decade and I've met plenty of soccer fans, although they do seem to prefer the European leagues to the K-League, I've met the occasional basketball fan, but volleyball? I can't recall a single person telling me they like volleyball, but these numbers say otherwise.

Here are some numbers for foreign sports leagues.

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Who will win the All-Star Homerun Derby?

Jul
15
Lee Seung-Yeop (Samsung)
0% (0 votes)
Kim Dae-Woo (Lotte)
0% (0 votes)
Kim Hyun-Soo (Doosan)
45% (5 votes)
Kang Min-Ho (Lotte)
9% (1 vote)
Na Ji-Wan (KIA)
0% (0 votes)
Park Byung-Ho (Nexen)
36% (4 votes)
Jeong Seong-Hoon (LG)
0% (0 votes)
Na Sung-Bum (NC)
9% (1 vote)
Total votes: 11

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Sunday KBO Game Highlights (2013/07/14)

Jul
15

NC 10 - Lotte 1, Changwon [Box Score] [Video Highlights]

This was the only game played in the KBO today, as rain fell across the Korean peninsula. NC pulled out a convincing win, completing the series sweep against Lotte. The Dinos's offense was in full efect, including a 7-run 5th inning. Top performers included Kim Jong-Ho who went 3 for 3 and Lee Hyun-Gon who went 3 for 4. Lotte scored their only run in the top of the 7th on an RBI double by second baseman Park Jun-Seo. NC starter Charlie Shirek pitched 6 scoreless innings for his 6th win of the season, while Lotte's Chris Oxspring gave up 10 hits and 5 runs in 4 innings to take the loss. Following the sweep, Lotte dropped down to 6th place in the league standings.

Hanwha - Samsung, Daegu Rained Out

KIA - Doosan, Seoul (Jamsil) Rained Out

LG - SK, Incheon Rained Out

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