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The KBO LEAGUE ( Hangul : KBO 리그), originally called the KOREA BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ( Hangul : 한국야구선수권대회; Romanization : Hanguk Yagu Seonsukkwon Daehoe), is the highest level league of baseball in South Korea
South Korea
. The KBO League
KBO League
was founded with six franchises in 1982, and has expanded to ten franchises. Nine of the ten franchises are named after the companies or business conglomerates which own them, while one sold their naming rights (Nexen Heroes).

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 2 Season structure

* 2.1 KBO All-Star Game * 2.2 Playoffs

* 3 Rules

* 4 Teams

* 4.1 Franchise locations

* 5 Ballparks * 6 Champions * 7 Postseasons * 8 Awards * 9 Year-end regional tournament * 10 See also * 11 References * 12 External links

HISTORY

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

The inaugural franchises were:

* Haitai Tigers
Haitai Tigers
, based in Gwangju
Gwangju
* Lotte Giants , based in Busan
Busan
* MBC Chungyong , based in Seoul
Seoul
* OB Bears
OB Bears
, based in Daejeon * Sammi Superstars
Sammi Superstars
, based in Incheon
Incheon
* Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
, based in Daegu
Daegu

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

There was little change in the 1990s except for a few major sponsors: in 1993 the Binggrae Eagles became the Hanwha Eagles
Hanwha Eagles
, in 1995 the Pacific Dolphins
Pacific Dolphins
became the Hyundai Unicorns
Hyundai Unicorns
and the OB Bears
OB Bears
in 1999 became the Doosan Bears
Doosan Bears
. Bigger changes were affected in 2000 when the Hyundai Unicorns
Hyundai Unicorns
moved from Incheon
Incheon
to Suwon , and a new franchise, the SK Wyverns
SK Wyverns
took their place in Incheon
Incheon
. The Ssangbangwool Raiders became defunct. In 2001, the Haitai Tigers became the Kia Tigers .

In 2008, the Hyundai Unicorns
Hyundai Unicorns
franchise was disbanded, re-founded as the Woori Heroes and moved to Mok-dong in Seoul. Despite winning four championships, the franchise enjoyed little fan support after moving to Suwon. The team's naming rights were sold to Nexen Tire and the team was renamed Nexen Heroes
Nexen Heroes
.

Expansion resumed in the 2010s, with the addition of the NC Dinos , located in Changwon
Changwon
, which joined the league in 2013. It is the first team located in Changwon, the city having previously been the second home of the nearby Lotte Giants.

In 2015, the KT Wiz became the league's 10th franchise. They play their home games in Suwon , which had not had a team since the Hyundai Unicorns' disbandment.

The league has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity, with increased attendance and player salaries. Several KBO players have also successfully transitioned from the KBO to the Major Leagues , such as Ryu Hyun-Jin
Ryu Hyun-Jin
, Kang Jung-Ho or Kim Hyun-soo . This increase in popularity has been accompanied by the building of larger and more modern ballparks, such as Gwangju-Kia Champions Field (2014), Gocheok Sky Dome (2016) and Daegu
Daegu
Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
Park (2016).

Founding member Kia Tigers (formerly Haitai Tigers) has won 10 of the 35 national championships.

SEASON STRUCTURE

Starting with the 2015 season, each team plays 144 games in the regular season, increased from 128 due to the addition of the KT Wiz to the league. Each team plays every other team 16 times.

KBO ALL-STAR GAME

In mid-July of every season, the best players participate in the KBO All-Star Game. The franchises participating are divided into two sets of teams: Dream All-Stars (Doosan, KT, Lotte, Samsung, and SK) and Nanum All-Stars (Kia, Hanwha, LG, NC and Nexen). The KBO All-star game does not determine home-field advantage in the KBO Korean Series .

PLAYOFFS

The KBO League's season culminates in its championship series, known as the KBO Korean Series . Currently, the top five teams qualify for the post-season based on win/loss records. The team with the best record gains a direct entry into the KBO Korean Series, while the other three teams compete for the remaining place in a step-ladder playoff system:

* KBO Wild Card Game: 4th place team (starts with a one-game advantage.) vs. 5th place team; 2 games * KBO Semi Playoffs: 3rd place team vs. winner of KBO Wild Card Game; best of 3 out of 5 games * KBO Playoffs: 2nd place team vs. winner of KBO Playoffs Stage 1; best of 3 out of 5 games (reduced from 7 games starting from 2009) * KBO Korean Series: 1st place team vs. winner of KBO Playoffs Stage 2; best of 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 scheduled 5 or 7 games.

RULES

Traditionally, Korea Professional Baseball
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 regular season, 15-innings limit for playoff games. The league places a cap on the number of foreign players allowed on club rosters. The foreign player limit is set at three, increased from two players from 2014.

All teams use the designated hitter rule.

TEAMS

Lotte Samsung Kia Hanwha SK LG top:23.752%;left:31.567%"> Nexen KT NC

SINGLE LEAGUE (1982–1998, 2001–PRESENT)

TEAM CITY STADIUM CAPACITY FOUNDED JOINED

NANUM ALL-STARS

HANWHA EAGLES Daejeon Daejeon Hanbat Baseball
Baseball
Stadium 13,000 1985 1986

KIA TIGERS Gwangju
Gwangju
Gwangju-Kia Champions Field 22,244 1982

LG TWINS Seoul
Seoul
Jamsil Baseball
Baseball
Stadium 25,553 1982

NC DINOS Changwon
Changwon
Masan Baseball
Baseball
Stadium 11,000 2011 2013

NEXEN HEROES Seoul
Seoul
Gocheok Sky Dome
Gocheok Sky Dome
16,813 2008

DREAM ALL-STARS

DOOSAN BEARS Seoul
Seoul
Jamsil Baseball
Baseball
Stadium 25,553 1982

KT WIZ Suwon Suwon Baseball
Baseball
Stadium 22,067 2013 2015

LOTTE GIANTS Busan
Busan
Busan
Busan
Sajik Baseball
Baseball
Stadium 26,800 1946 1950

SAMSUNG LIONS Daegu
Daegu
Daegu
Daegu
Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
Park 24,000 1982

SK WYVERNS Incheon
Incheon
Munhak Baseball
Baseball
Stadium 26,000 2000

DEFUNCT CLUBS

TEAM CITY STADIUM FOUNDED CEASED OPERATIONS NOTES

HYUNDAI UNICORNS Suwon Suwon Baseball
Baseball
Stadium 1982 2008

SSANGBANGWOOL RAIDERS Jeonju
Jeonju
Jeonju
Jeonju
Baseball
Baseball
Stadium 1991 1999

Notes

* ^ The KBO have implemented dual league in 1999 and 2000. The leagues were named Dream League and Magic League. * ^ Former Western League 1982–1998, 2001–2014 * ^ Former Eastern League 1982–1998, 2001–2014

FRANCHISE LOCATIONS

Locations are listed from north to south.

CITY 1982–1984 1985 1986–1989 1990–1993 1994–1998 1998 1999 2000–2001 2002–2007 2008–2012 2013–2014 2015–PRESENT

Seoul
Seoul
MBC Chungyong , 1982–1989 LG Twins
LG Twins
, 1989–present

OB Bears
OB Bears
, 1985–1998 Doosan Bears
Doosan Bears
, 1999–present

Nexen Heroes
Nexen Heroes
, 2008–present

Incheon
Incheon
Hyundai Unicorns
Hyundai Unicorns

SK Wyverns
SK Wyverns
, 2000–present

Suwon

Hyundai Unicorns
Hyundai Unicorns
, 2000–2007

KT Wiz , 2015–present

Daejeon OB Bears
OB Bears
, 1982–1984

Binggrae Eagles , 1986–1993 Hanwha Eagles
Hanwha Eagles
, 1993–present

Jeonju
Jeonju

Ssangbangwool Raiders , 1990–1999

Daegu
Daegu
Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
, 1982–present

Gwangju
Gwangju
Haitai Tigers
Haitai Tigers
, 1982–2001 Kia Tigers , 2002–present

Changwon
Changwon

NC Dinos , 2013–present

Busan
Busan
Lotte Giants , 1982–present

Notes

* ^ Also known as Woori Heroes (2008) and Seoul
Seoul
Heroes (2008–2009) * ^ Also known as the Sammi Superstars
Sammi Superstars
(1982–1985), Chungbo Pintos (1985–1987) and Pacific Dolphins
Pacific Dolphins
(1988–1995)

BALLPARKS

See also: List of baseball stadiums in South Korea

*

*

*

*

DOOSAN BEARS / LG TWINS HANWHA EAGLES KIA TIGERS KT WIZ LOTTE GIANTS

Jamsil Baseball
Baseball
Stadium Daejeon Hanbat Baseball
Baseball
Stadium Gwangju-Kia Champions Field Suwon Baseball
Baseball
Stadium Busan
Busan
Sajik Baseball
Baseball
Stadium

Capacity: 25,553 Capacity: 13,000 Capacity: 22,244 Capacity: 22,067 Capacity: 26,800

NC DINOS NEXEN HEROES SAMSUNG LIONS SK WYVERNS

Masan Baseball
Baseball
Stadium Gocheok Sky Dome
Gocheok Sky Dome
Daegu
Daegu
Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
Park Munhak Baseball
Baseball
Stadium

Capacity: 11,000 Capacity: 16,813 Capacity: 24,000 Capacity: 26,000

In addition to these ballparks, the Lotte Giants play some games at Ulsan Munsu Baseball
Baseball
Stadium , the Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
at Pohang Baseball Stadium and the Hanwha Eagles
Hanwha Eagles
at Cheongju Baseball
Baseball
Stadium .

CHAMPIONS

Main article: Korean Series

CLUB CHAMPIONS RUNNERS-UP WINNING SEASONS RUNNERS-UP SEASONS

Kia Tigers 11 0 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2009 , 2017

Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
8 10 1985, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2011 , 2012 , 2013 , 2014 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 2001, 2004, 2010 , 2015

Doosan Bears
Doosan Bears
5 6 1982, 1995, 2001, 2015 , 2016 2000, 2005, 2007 , 2008 , 2013 , 2017

Hyundai Unicorns
Hyundai Unicorns
(defunct) 4 2 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004 1994, 1996

SK Wyverns
SK Wyverns
3 4 2007 , 2008 , 2010 2003, 2009 , 2011 , 2012

LG Twins
LG Twins
2 4 1990, 1994 1983, 1997, 1998, 2002

Lotte Giants 2 3 1984, 1992 1985, 1995, 1999

Hanwha Eagles
Hanwha Eagles
1 5 1999 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 2006

Nexen Heroes
Nexen Heroes
0 1 — 2014

NC Dinos 0 1 — 2016

KT Wiz 0 0 — —

POSTSEASONS

Legend

* 1st – Champions * 2nd – Runners-up * PO – Playoff loser * SPO – Semi-playoff loser * WC – Wild card game loser * - – Did not qualify * × – Not held * – Did not participate

TEAMS 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

Doosan 1ST – – × PO PO – – – – – SPO – 1ST – – SPO PO 2nd

Hanwha

– – 2nd 2nd SPO 2nd 2nd – PO – SPO – – 1ST –

Hyundai – – – × – – – PO – – – – 2nd – 2nd – 1ST – 1ST

Kia – 1ST – × 1ST 1ST 1ST 1ST PO 1ST PO 1ST SPO – 1ST 1ST – – –

KT

LG – 2nd – × – – – – 1ST – – PO 1ST PO – 2nd 2nd – PO

Lotte – – 1ST × – – – – – SPO 1ST – – 2nd – – – 2nd SPO

NC

Nexen

Samsung 2nd – 2nd 1ST 2nd 2nd PO SPO 2nd PO SPO 2nd – – – PO PO PO PO

SK

Ssangbangwool

– – – – – PO SPO – –

NUMBER 2 2 2 1* 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 5

TEAMS 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 TOTAL

Doosan 1ST – – PO 2nd – 2nd 2nd PO PO – SPO 2nd – 1ST 1ST 2nd 20

Hanwha SPO – – – PO 2nd PO – – – – – – – – – – 12

Hyundai PO SPO 1ST 1ST – PO –

10

Kia – PO PO SPO – SPO – – 1ST – SPO – – – – WC 1ST 20

KT

– – – 0

LG – 2nd – – – – – – – – – – PO PO – PO – 12

Lotte – – – – – – – SPO SPO SPO PO PO – – – – SPO 12

NC

– SPO PO 2nd PO 4

Nexen

– – – – – SPO 2nd SPO SPO – 4

Samsung 2nd 1ST SPO 2nd 1ST 1ST SPO PO – 2nd 1ST 1ST 1ST 1ST 2nd – – 29

SK – – 2nd – SPO – 1ST 1ST 2nd 1ST 2nd 2nd – – WC – WC 10

Ssangbangwool

2

NUMBER 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 135

AWARDS

See footnote and Baseball
Baseball
awards# South Korea
South Korea

* KBO League
KBO League
MVP Award * KBO League Rookie of the Year Award * KBO League
KBO League
Golden Glove Award * KBO League
KBO League
Korean Series MVP Award * KBO League
KBO League
All-Star Game MVP

YEAR-END REGIONAL TOURNAMENT

YEAR TOURNAMENT PARTICIPANTS ROUND POSITION W L RS RA

2005 2005 Asia Series
Asia Series
Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
Final 02 ! 2nd 2 2 17 17

2006 2006 Asia Series
Asia Series
Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
Group Stage 03 ! 3rd 1 2 16 11

2007 2007 Asia Series
Asia Series
SK Wyverns
SK Wyverns
Final 02 ! 2nd 3 1 37 10

2008 2008 Asia Series
Asia Series
SK Wyverns
SK Wyverns
Group Stage 03 ! 3rd 2 1 23 13

2009 KBO-NPB Club Championship 2009 Kia Tigers

02 ! Runner-up 0 1 4 9

2010 KBO-NPB Club Championship 2010 SK Wyverns
SK Wyverns

02 ! Runner-up 0 1 0 3

2010 CPBL-KBO Club Championship 2010

01 ! WINNER (Shared) 1 1 7 5

2011 2011 Asia Series
Asia Series
Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
Final 01 ! 1ST 3 1 21 17

2012 2012 Asia Series
Asia Series
Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
Group Stage 03 ! 3rd 1 1 9 3

Lotte Giants Group Stage 4th 1 1 6 6

2013 2013 Asia Series
Asia Series
Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
Semifinals 4th 2 1 15 15

TOTAL

16 13 155 109

* - Qualified as host.

SEE ALSO

* Baseball
Baseball
in South Korea
South Korea
* Korea Baseball
Baseball
Organization * KBO Futures League
KBO Futures League
* List of current KBO League team rosters * List of KBO Career Hits leaders * Players from South Korea
South Korea
in Major League Baseball
Baseball

REFERENCES

* ^ "The Korea Baseball
Baseball
Championship is the annual pennant race of first-tier professional baseball league in South Korea." Confirmed by Moon Jung-kyun, Public Relations Manager of Korea Baseball Organization. For further information, refer to the talk page of the Korean version article. * ^ For the official name of the league, refer to following page: http://baseballinkorea.com/2015/03/01/kbo-brand-identity * ^ http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/04/15/2010041500309.html * ^ http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2010/05/266_41922.html * ^ Korea Baseball
Baseball
Organization (2015). 2015 달라지는 점 (Korean). Accessed on April 14, 2015. * ^ Kim Jae-Won (2009-01-13). KBO Abolishes Endless Overtime Rule. The Korea Times. Accessed on 2009-06-11. * ^ Category:Korea Baseball
Baseball
Organization Awards. Baseball-Reference.com (Sports Reference LLC). Retrieved 2010-07-02. * ^ KBO Most Valuable Player Award. Baseball-Reference.com (Sports Reference LLC). Retrieved 2010-07-02. See also: Chinese Professional Baseball
Baseball
League MVP of the Year Award and Nippon Professional Baseball Most Valuable Player Award . * ^ KBO Rookie of the Year. Baseball-Reference.com (Sports Reference LLC). Retrieved 2010-07-02. See also: Chinese Professional Baseball
Baseball
League Rookie of the Year Award and Nippon Professional Baseball
Baseball
Rookie of the Year Award . * ^ KBO Gold Gloves. Baseball-Reference.com (Sports Reference LLC). Retrieved 2010-07-02. See also: Nippon Professional Baseball
Baseball
Mitsui Golden Glove Award and Major League Baseball
Baseball
Gold Glove Award
Gold Glove Award
. * ^ Korean Series Most Valuable Player Award. Baseball-Reference.com (Sports Reference LLC). Retrieved 2010-07-02. See also: Major League Baseball
Baseball
World Series MVP Award . * ^ For the KBO League
KBO League
All-Star Game MVP, go to KBO Gold Gloves, scroll to the bottom, and click on All-Star Game MVP. Baseball-Reference.com (Sports Reference LLC). Retrieved 2016-10-13.

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikimedia Commons has media related to KBO LEAGUE .

* KBO League
KBO League
official website

* v * t * e

KBO League
KBO League

* Korea Baseball
Baseball
Organization

TEAMS

* Doosan Bears
Doosan Bears
* Hanwha Eagles
Hanwha Eagles
* Kia Tigers * KT Wiz * LG Twins
LG Twins
* Lotte Giants * NC Dinos † * Nexen Heroes
Nexen Heroes
† * Samsung Lions
Samsung Lions
* SK Wyverns
SK Wyverns