|No. of teams||10|
|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.
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.
|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|
|Hyundai Unicorns|| Incheon (1982~1999)|
The inaugural teams were:
- Samsung Lions, based in Daegu
- Haitai Tigers, based in Gwanju
- Lotte Giants, based in Busan
- MBC Chungyong, based in Seoul
- OB Bears, based in Daejeon
- Sammi Superstars, based in Incheon
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 two 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).
|1982||OB Bears||Samsung Lions|
|1983||Haitai Tigers||MBC Blue Dragons|
|1984||Lotte Giants||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|
|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|
|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|
|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
|11||0|| 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988,|
1989, 1991, 1993, 1996,
1997, 2009 , 2017
|8||10|| 1985, 2002, 2005, 2006,|
2011, 2012 , 2013, 2014
| 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987,|
1990, 1993, 2001, 2004,
1982, 1995, 2001, 2015, 2016, 2019
|2000, 2005, 2007, 2008 , 2013 , 2017, 2018|
|4||4||2007, 2008, 2010, 2018||2003, 2009, 2011, 2012|
|2||4||1990, 1994||1983, 1997, 1998, 2002|
|2||2||1984, 1992||1995, 1999|
|1||5||1999|| 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992,|
- 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 : An Chi Yong, Chang Sung Ho , Bong Joog-Keun
- 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
- List of current Korea Professional Baseball team rosters
- Players from South Korea in Major League Baseball
- List of baseball stadiums in South Korea