KBO League
Sport Baseball
Founded 1982
No. of teams 10
Country KOR
Current champions Doosan Bears
Official website Official Homepage

KBO League' is the highest level league of baseball in South Korea. It is called Han-Kook Pro Yagoo (Hangul: KBO 리그), meaning professional baseball which is similar with the professional baseball in Japan. Korea Professional Baseball was originally founded with six teams in 1982 and currently has eight teams. The teams are generally named after the companies or business conglomerates which own them. Korea Professional Baseball is one of two major sports leagues in South Korea, the other one is K-League.

Season structureEdit

Currently, each team plays 144 games in the regular season. Each team plays every other team 16 times.

Traditionally, Korea Professional Baseball games have a maximum number of extra innings before a game is declared an official tie. The KBO abolished this limit for the 2008 season, however it was reinstated in 2009, with a 12-innings limit imposed during both regular season and playoff games. However, no extra innings are played in the first game of a double-header, with games limited to 9 innings.

Korea Professional Baseball season culminates in its championship series, known as the Korean Series. Currently, the top four teams qualify for the post-season based on win/loss records; starting from the 2009 season, tied games count as a loss for both teams for percentage calculation purposes (from 2002 until 2007 they were considered a "no game"; prior to this they counted as half a win and half a loss (which is the logical and mathematical correct way)). The team with the best record gains a direct entry into the Korean Series, while the other three teams compete for the remaining place in a step-ladder playoff system:

*Wild-card Game: 4th (Advantage 1 Won) vs. 5th; 2 games

*Semi-playoff: 3rd vs. Winner Wild-card Game; best 3 out of 5 games

*Playoff: 2nd vs. winner Semi-playoff; best 3 out of 5 games (reduced from 7 games starting from 2009)

*Korean Series: 1st vs. winner Playoff; best 4 out of 7 games.

Any playoff games ending in an official tie are replayed, thereby raising the possibility of a close series containing more than the originally scheduled 5 or 7 games.

Franchises Edit

Participating teamsEdit

Team City Manager Joined Stadium Capacity
Doosan Bears Seoul Kim Tae Hyeong 1982 Jamsil Baseball Stadium 27,500
NC Dinos Changwon Lee Dong-Wook 2013 Changwon NC Park 21,850
Kiwoom Heroes Seoul Jang Jeong-Seok 2008 Gocheok Sky Dome 18,000
LG Twins Seoul Ryu Joong-Il 1982 Jamsil Baseball Stadium 27,500
Kia Tigers Gwangju Kim Ki-Tae 1982 Gwangju Kia Champions Field 22,000
SK Wyverns Incheon Yeom Kyung-Yuup 2000 Incheon SK Happy Dream Stadium 27,800
Hanwha Eagles Daejeon Han Yong-Deok 1986 Daejeon Hanwha Life Eagles Park 14,133
Lotte Giants Busan Yang Sang-Moon 1975 Sajik Baseball Stadium 28,500
Samsung Lions Daegu Kim Han-Soo 1982 Daegu Samsung Lions Park 22,000
KT Wiz Suwon Lee Kang-Cheol 2015 Suwon KT Wiz Park 20,000

Defunct teamsEdit

Team City Joined Folded
SSanbangul Raiders Jeonju 1991 1999
Hyundai Unicorns Incheon (1982~1999)
Suwon (2000~2007)
1982 2008



The first game was played on March 27, 1982 between Samsung Lions and the MBC Chungyong (now the LG Twins) in Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul. Then-president Chun Doo-hwan threw the first pitch.

The inaugural teams were:

In 1985, the Sammi Superstarsbecame known as the Cheongbo Pintos. The next year, 1986, saw some major changes, with the OB Bears moving from Daejeon to share the Seoul's Jamsil Baseball Stadium with MBC Chungyong in Seoul. A new team, the Binggeurae Eagles, joined to replace vacancy of Daejeon by OB's moving and expanding the league to seven teams. 1988 saw the Cheongbo Pintos change ownership again, becoming the Taepyeongyang Dolphins. In 1990, MBC Chungyong became the LG Twins and an eighth team was added, the SSanbangul Raiders, who represented the Jeollabuck-do region.

There was little change in the 90's except for a few major sponsors: 1993 saw the Binggeurae Eagles become the Hanhwa Eagles, in 1995 the Taepyeongyang Dolphins became the Hyundai Unicorns and the OB Bears in 1999 became the Doosan Bears. Bigger changes were affected in 2000 when the Hyundai Unicons moved from Incheon to Suwon, and a new team, the SK Wyverns took their place in Incheon. The SSanbangul Raiders became defunct. In 2001, the Haitai Tigers became the Kia Tigers.

In 2008, the Hyundai Unicorns franchise was sold, renamed the Woori Heroes and moved to Mok-dong in Seoul, after a disappointing season in 2007 both on and off the field. Despite winning championships in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2004, fans never really took to the team after their move from Incheon. Also, while the franchises in Daegu, Busan, Gwangu and Daejeon did not have to compete with other teams for fans, the Suwon-based Unicorns struggled to compete with the nearby Seoul franchises.

Founding member the Kia Tigers (formerly the Haitai Tigers) had won 10 of the 29 national championships.

Most players are Korean, but teams are allowed a limited number foreign players, with Americans, Dominicans and Cubans featuring in the league. The foreign player limit is currently set at three per team.

On the 17th of July every year, the best players participate in the Korean All-star game. The teams participating are divided into two regions: East (SK, Samsung, Doosan, Lotte) and West (Kia, Hanhwa, LG and Heroes). The titles 'East' and 'West' do not directly correspond to the geographical regions of the teams involved, as both SK and Doosan, being from Incheon and Seoul respectively, are clearly based on the Western region of Korea, despite representing the East. Unlike in the MLB, the Korean All-star game does not determine home-ground advantage in the Korean Series. The most recent Korean All-star game was played in Seoul and won 5-4 by the West team.

Many of the players who excel in the Korean league go on to play for teams in Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. Current successful players in the NPB who have played for Korean teams in the past include Lee Seung-Yeop for the Yomiuri Giants (former Samsung Lions player), Kim Tae-Gyon for the Chiba Lotte Marines (former Hanwha Eagles player), Lim Chang-Yong for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, and Tyone Woods also for the Chunichi Dragons (former Doosan Bears player).



Year Winner Running-Up
1982 OB Bears Samsung Lions
1983 Haitai Tigers MBC Blue Dragons
1984 Lotte Giants Samsung Lions
1985 Samsung Lions
1986 Haitai Tigers Samsung Lions
1987 Haitai Tigers Samsung Lions
1988 Haitai Tigers Binggrae Eagles
1989 Haitai Tigers Binggrae Eagles
1990 LG Twins Samsung Lions
1991 Haitai Tigers Binggrae Eagles


Year Winner Running-Up
1992 Lotte Giants Binggrae Eagles
1993 Haitai Tigers Samsung Lions
1994 LG Twins Taepyungyang Dolphins
1995 OB Bears Lotte Giants
1996 Haitai Tigers Hyundai Unicorns
1997 Haitai Tigers LG Twins
1998 Hyundai Unicorns LG Twins
1999 Hanwha Eagles Lotte Giants
2000 Hyundai Unicorns Doosan Bears
2001 Doosan Bears Samsung Lions


Year Winner Running-Up
2002 Samsung Lions LG Twins
2003 Hyundai Unicorns SK Wyverns
2004 Hyundai Unicorns Samsung Lions
2005 Samsung Lions Doosan Bears
2006 Samsung Lions Hanwha Eagles
2007 SK Wyverns Doosan Bears
2008 SK Wyverns Doosan Bears
2009 Kia Tigers SK Wyverns
2010 SK Wyverns Samsung Lions
2011 Samsung Lions SK Wyverns


Year Winner Running-Up
2012 Samsung Lions SK Wyverns
2013 Samsung Lions Doosan Bears
2014 Samsung Lions Nexen Heroes
2015 Doosan Bears Samsung Lions
2016 Doosan Bears NC Dinos
2017 Kia Tigers Doosan Bears
2018 SK Wyverns Doosan Bears
2019 Doosan Bears Kiwoom Heroes

Most Successful clubsEdit

Team Champions Runners-Up Winning
Kia Tigers 2017 New Cap Logo Kia Tigers 2017 New Emblem
Kia Tigers
11 0 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988,
1989, 1991, 1993, 1996,
1997, 2009 , 2017
Samsung Lions insignia Samsung Lions Emblem
Samsung Lions
8 10 1985, 2002, 2005, 2006,
2011, 2012 , 2013, 2014
1982, 1984, 1986, 1987,
1990, 1993, 2001, 2004,
2010, 2015
Doosan Bears insignia Doosan Bears Emblem
Doosan Bears
6 7

1982, 1995, 2001, 2015, 2016, 2019

2000, 2005, 2007, 2008 , 2013 , 2017, 2018
SK Wyverns insignia 2020 New Ver SK Wyverns 2020 New Emblem
SK Wyverns
4 4 2007, 2008, 2010, 2018 2003, 2009, 2011, 2012
LG Twins New Logo LG Twins New Emblem
LG Twins
2 4 1990, 1994 1983, 1997, 1998, 2002
Lotte Giants Simbol 2018 Lotte Giants Emblem 2018
Lotte Giants
2 2 1984, 1992 1995, 1999
Hanwha Eagles insignia Hanwha Eagles Emblem
Hanwha Eagles
1 5 1999 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992,
Kiwoom Heroes insignia Kiwoom heroes emblem
Kiwoom Heroes
2 2014, 2019
NC Dinos insignia 2020 New Ver NC Dinos 2013 Emblem
NC Dinos
1 2016
KT Wiz Insignia KT Wiz Emblem
KT Wiz

Commentator ChannelEdit

Natural TVEdit

  • KBS2 KBS : Chang Sung-Ho
  • SBS SBS : Lee Soon Cul
  • MBC MBC : Heo Goo Yeon

Cable TVEdit

  • MBC Sports+ MBC Sports+ : Heo Goo Yeon , Han Man Jung , Park Jae Hong , Yang Joon Jyuk, Park Dong Hui , Jo Yong Joon , Kim Seon Woo
  • KBSN Sports KBSN Sprots : An Chi Yong, Chang Sung Ho , Bong Joog-Keun
  • SBS Sports SBS Sports : Lee Soon Chul, Ahn Gyeong Hyun , Lee Jong Yeol , Lee Dong Hyun
  • SPOTV : Min Hoon Ki , Kim Gyeong-Ki , Kim Jae-Hyeon , Lee Hyo-Bong

Internet Protocol TVEdit

  • SPOTV  : Min Hoon Ki , Yeom Jong Seok , Kim Jae-Hyeon


  • MBN-U1 MBN-U1 DMB Korea Professional Baseball Lague Commntator

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

Professional Baseball
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Defunct *Major :National AssociationAmerican AssociationUnion AssociationPlayer's League

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