‘Professional finishing’ Oh Seung-hwan, another new record… First 350 saves in KBO

Korea, the United States, and Japan individual career total 472 saves… 500 saves available within this year

Oh Seung-hwan with 350 saves

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(Seoul = Yonhap News) Reporter Han Nam-jik = ‘Stone Buddha’ Oh Seung-hwan (40, Samsung Lions) once again changed the Korean professional baseball save record.

Seunghwan Oh appeared in the 10th inning of overtime leading 2-1 in the visiting game against the Hanwha Eagles held at the Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on the 19th, preventing one inning with two hits and one strikeout and took the save.

It was his 11th save this season and his 350th save in his career in the KBO league. ‘Of course’ is the first record in the KBO league.

Son Seung-rak’s 271 saves are already retired in the KBO league history. Among active players, Woo-Ram Jung (Hanwha Eagles) had the second most saves after Seung-Hwan Oh with 197 saves.

Oh Seung-hwan’s save record may remain as an ‘immortal record’.

Most of the major save records for Koreans were written by ‘professional finishing’ Oh Seung-hwan.

Former Korean baseball team coach Seon Dong-yeol selected Oh Seung-hwan, a rookie college graduate who joined Samsung after graduating from Dankook University in 2005, when he was Samsung’s head coach, as a ‘next-generation finalist’ and sent him out as a setup man from the beginning of the season.

On April 27 of that year, he scored his first personal save against the LG Twins at Daegu Citizens Stadium.

Oh Seung-hwan and Kwon Oh-joon exchanged positions in July 2005 and stood at the finish line.

Oh Seung-hwan, who recorded an ERA of 1.18 with 10 wins, 1 loss, 11 holds, 16 saves in his first year, set the record for most saves in a single Asian league (47 saves) the following year, solidifying his position as the best finisher.

Oh Seung-hwan, who achieved the record of 100 saves (180 games) in the KBO League history by sacrificing the KIA Tigers on September 18, 2007, was the youngest and the minimum save record of 150 saves in the game against Hanwha on May 5, 2009 (26 years old, 9 years old) Month 20 days, 254 games) was established.

The record of 200 saves in the youngest and smallest game in the KBO league (August 12, 2011, against Daegu KIA, 29 years, 28 days, 334 games) was also written by Oh Seung-hwan.

On July 1, 2012, Seung-hwan Oh posted his 228th personal save against the Nexen Heroes, surpassing the record of former Chung-Ang University coach Kim Yong-soo (227 saves), and increased the ‘Korean record’ with 277 saves until 2013.

Samsung Lions finisher Oh Seung-hwan
Samsung Lions finisher Oh Seung-hwan

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The 300 individual saves in Korea and Japan were made at Koshien Stadium, one of the sacred places of Japanese baseball.

Seunghwan Oh, who entered Japanese professional baseball under a contract with the Hanshin Tigers in 2014, made his 300th career save between Korea and Japan at the Yomiuri Giants match held at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan on July 21 of that year.

Seunghwan Oh reigned supreme in Japan as well.

In 2014, his first year in Japan, he made 39 saves, breaking the record for the most saves by a Korean in Japan, surpassing the 38 saves recorded by former coach Seon Dong-yeol at the Chunichi Dragons in 1997.

That year, Seung-hwan Oh appeared in all six games of the climax series and was honored with the title of Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the series. It was also the first time that a Korean from the KBO League won the MVP in the Japanese postseason.

Oh Seung-hwan also posted 41 saves in 2015 and was named the Central League salvation champion for the second year in a row.

Oh Seung-hwan, who played for the Hanshin Tigers
Oh Seung-hwan, who played for the Hanshin Tigers

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Oh Seung-hwan also played an active role as a top-class relief pitcher in the American Major League Baseball ‘Dream Stage’.

Oh Seung-hwan, who achieved his dream of becoming a big leaguer by signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016, made his first personal save in the major leagues against the Milwaukee Brewers at Bush Stadium on July 3 of that year.

At the same time, the first Korean pitcher to score a save in Korea, the United States, and Japan was born.

Seung-hwan Oh had 42 saves until the end of his major league career in September 2019.

Even after returning to Korea, Seunghwan Oh continued his save record streak.

On June 16, 2020, against Jamsil Doosan, Oh Seung-hwan achieved a total of 400 saves between Korea, the United States, and Japan.

On August 14, 2020, he made his 408th save against Daegu Doosan, surpassing Hitoki Iwase (retired)’s 407 save, which the Japanese media called ‘Asia’s best record’.

On April 25, 2021, in the KIA match in Gwangju, he reached the 300-year mark of his career in the KBO league.

Last year, Oh Seung-hwan took 44 saves, earned the title of the 6th salvation king in his personal career, and set the record for the oldest 40 saves (age 39). His previous record was in 2013 when he was 31 years old.

Again this year, Oh Seung-hwan is playing as a Samsung finisher and is playing with a 2.45 ERA with 2 wins, 11 saves and 1 hold.

Oh Seung-hwan, who maintained his position as the best closing pitcher in the KBO league despite all odds, is challenging another record.

Oh Seung-hwan, who is recording a total of 472 saves in Korea, the United States, and Japan (350 in Korea, 80 in Japan, 42 in the United States), is moving towards 500 saves.

500 saves is a rare record achieved only by Mariano Rivera (652 saves) and Trevor Hoffman (601 saves) in the American Major Leagues. No Japanese pitcher has recorded more than 500 saves.

◇ Oh Seung-hwan’s main save record

record game note
No. 1 in total April 27, 2005 Daegu Citizen LG Exhibition
youngest
40 saves per season
September 10, 2006 Daegu Citizens Doosan Exhibition 24 years 1 month 26 days
Minimum game 100 saves September 18, 2007 Gwangju Mudeung KIA Exhibition 180 matches
Youngest and smallest match
150 saves
May 5, 2009 Daejeon Hanwha Game 26 years 9 months 20 days
254 matches
Youngest and smallest match
200 saves
August 12, 2011 Daegu Citizen KIA Exhibition 29 years and 28 days
334 matches
KBO career
most saves
July 1, 2012 Daegu Citizen Nexen Exhibition 228 saves
Korea-Japan career
300 saves
July 21, 2014 Koshien Yomiuri match Korean history
second 300 saves
Korean first
Korean American Japanese Save
July 3, 2016 Bush Stadium
Milwaukee match
Korea, US and Japan
400 saves
June 16, 2020 Jamsil Doosan Game
KBO league career
300 saves
April 25, 2021 Gwangju KIA Exhibition First KBO League
oldest
40 saves per season
October 14, 2021 Gwangju KIA Exhibition 39 years 2 months 28 days
KBO career
350 saves
May 19, 2022 Daejeon Hanwha Game First KBO League

jiks79@yna.co.kr

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