KBO Futures League
KBO Futures League (Korean: KBO 퓨처스리그) or Korea Baseball Futures League is South Korea's second level of baseball, below the KBO League. It serves as a farm league with the purpose to develop professional players on-demand to play in the KBO League. The league consists of two divisions — the Southern League and the Northern League. These leagues are governed by the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO). The league plays an 80-game season.
|Founder||Korea Baseball Organization (KBO)|
|No. of teams||11|
Most of the Korean minor league teams carry the same name, and use the same uniforms, as their parent team.
|Goyang Heroes||Goyang||Goyang National Baseball Training Stadium|
|NC Dinos||Changwon||Masan Baseball Stadium|
|SSG Landers||Incheon||SK Futures Park|
|Doosan Bears||Icheon||Bears Park|
|LG Twins||Icheon||LG Champion's Park|
- Binggrae Eagles
- Haitai Tigers
- Lotte Giants
- LG Twins
- Ssangbangwool Raiders
- Samsung Lions
- Pacific Dolphins
The Ssangbangwool Raiders played the initial season in the Futures League; the team moved up to the KBO League in 1991 (although it left behind its minor-league team as well). The Raiders franchise was dissolved after the 1999 season.
Two unaffiliated teams joined the minor leagues in 2005: the Korean Police Baseball Team, operated by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, and the Sangmu Phoenix, part of the Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps. Many KBO League players serving compulsory military service opted to play for the Police and Sangmu teams, usually for a term of two seasons.
The Hyundai Unicorns (formerly the Pacific Dolphins) — both the KBO League team and the second-tier team — were dissolved after the 2007 season.
In 2012, two teams based in Goyang joined the Futures League: the Goyang Dinos and the Goyang Wonders. (The Wonders' games were considered unofficially "friendly" contests.) Now with 11 teams, the Futures League divided into two divisions: the Northern League and the Southern League. A "Freedom Division" was also created for the Dinos and the Wonders. The Dinos only played the one season in the Futures League before being elevated to the KBO League — as the NC Dinos — prior to the 2013 season.
The Suwon KT Wiz started out in 2013 as a Futures League team and played with Goyang Wonders in the Freedom Division; after two seasons the Wiz were elevated to the KBO (as the KT Wiz) in 2015. (The Goyang Wonders, meanwhile, were dissolved after the 2014 season.)
In 2015, the Futures League reorganized into three divisions: the Red League (Goyang Dinos, Hanwha Eagles, Hwaseong Heroes, SK Wyverns), the Blue League (Doosan Bears, LG Twins, Police, Suwon KT Wiz), and the Yellow League (Kia Tigers, Lotte Giants, Samsung Lions, Sangmu Phoenix). The 2015 Blue League champion was the Police Baseball Team; the Red League champion was the Goyang Dinos; and the Yellow League champion was the Sangmu Phoenix.
The league returned to the Northern and Southern League divisions in 2016.
The Sangmu Phoenix were champions of the Southern League in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019; the Police baseball team was the champion of the Northern League in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018. The Police team was disbanded after the 2019 Futures League season.
- Unaffiliated with a KBO League team.
- The third level squad of the Japanese Baseball Club.
- "KBO 실행위 결과 발표, "퓨처스리그 3개로 확대"". sports.news.naver.com.
- Fast, Alex. "So You Want To Get Into The KBO: The Pitcher List staff brings you the definitive guide to the KBO," Pitcher List (May 2020).
- KIM HYO-KYUNG, PARK SO-YOUNG. "Military service looms over KBO," Korea JoongAng Daily (April 16, 2019).
- Nam Hyun-woo. "Independent baseball club disbanded," The Korea Times (2014-09-11).
- "PARTICIPATING FRANCHISES IN THE KBO FUTURES LEAGUE," Baseball in Korea (January 19, 2014).
- Kim Hyo-Kyung. "Woop-woop! That’s the sound of da Police Team disbanding," Korea JoongAng Daily (July 5, 2019).
- Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) - Official Website (in Korean)