Which team is most envious of LG’s pennant race lead?
Lotte has been a part of the Korean Baseball Organization since its inception in 1982, but has never led the league in combined wins in a season. Until 1988, Korean professional baseball was divided into two leagues, the former and the latter. Lotte won first place in the latter league in 1984. Even then, they were far from winning, finishing fourth in combined winning percentage.
In the Korean Series (KS), Lotte won the 1984 and 1992 championships and was a dominant force in the early years of professional baseball. However, the team hasn’t appeared in the KS since 1999. In the 2023 season, Lotte set the old Busan on fire with an early season run to first place, but ultimately finished the year in seventh place. Lotte is determined to show a different side next year, having hired former championship manager Kim Tae-hyung as their new manager. Lotte’s last fall baseball game was in 2017.
Lotte isn’t the only team feeling sorry for itself. Hanwha, which has become a symbol of underdogs, hasn’t finished first in a pennant race since it dropped the Binggrae banner and adopted a new name. Its predecessor, the Binggrae, was the only team to rival the Haetae Dynasty.
The Binggrae topped the regular season in 1989, the first year of the current unified league system, and again in 1992, topping the league by 10.5 games. However, after 1994, when the team changed its name to Hanwha, it stopped winning regular season titles.
They made it to the KS twice under the Hanwha banner. Hanwha won its first title in 1999 against Lotte.
In the 2006 season, the team reached the KS with the monster Ryu Hyun-jin, but was swept by Samsung. Since then, Hanwha has become a team that struggles to make it to the fall baseball season, let alone the KS.
Since then, Hanwha has been a struggling fall baseball team, let alone KS. The team has been able to acquire top prospects in the draft every year, and is looking forward to competing in the 2024 season. Hanwha hasn’t had a taste of fall baseball since 2018.
Lotte and Hanwha have not won the title since the 1990s and have become each other’s sacrificial lambs for the title. Lotte hasn’t won the KS since meeting Hanwha and taking the title. Hanwha hasn’t won the KS since Lotte either. 먹튀검증
Kiwoom, which has been in the league since 2008, doesn’t have a winning history, but it has made it to the KS seven times, including the wild-card round in 2014, 2019 and 2022.