The Lotte Giants (Korean: 롯데 자이언츠) are a professional baseball team based in the southeastern city of Busan, South Korea, and one of the original franchises of the KBO League. The Lotte Giants are owned by Lotte Corporation, which also owns the Chiba Lotte Marines of Nippon Professional Baseball.
|League||KBO League (1982–present)|
|Ballpark||Busan Sajik Baseball Stadium (1986–present)|
|Year established||1975 (amateur)|
|Korean Series championships||1984, 1992|
|Colors||Blue and red|
From 1982 through 1986, they played at Gudeok Baseball Stadium and since then have played at Sajik Baseball Stadium. They have won the Korean Series twice, in 1984 and 1992. The team drew about 1.38 million spectators during the 2009 season, a record which remains as the highest attendance in a single season in any South Korean sports league.
They are often called the Busan Seagulls (Korean: 부산 갈매기) because the official bird of the city of Busan is the seagull, and their main fight song is Moon Seung-Jae's "Busan Seagulls". Coincidentally, a seagull also serves as the mascot for the Chiba Lotte Marines.
Since 2018, uniforms have been in use in white tops for home games and navy tops for away games. In common, red lines are placed around the sleeves of the arms, and red side lines are drawn on the trousers. The center of the top is marked with a red "Giants" word mark, and the undershirt is indigo for both home and away.
The Lotte Giants were founded as an amateur baseball team of the Korea Baseball Association in Seoul, South Korea, on May 6, 1975, when there was no professional sports team in the country. On February 22, 1982, the Giants became professional and moved to Busan, the second-largest city in South Korea after Seoul.
The Lotte Giants made their KBO League debut against the Haitai Tigers at Gudeok Baseball Stadium on March 28, 1982. They defeated the Tigers 14–2, but finished the year in fifth place out of six teams with a .388 winning percentage. Choi Dong-won, Ryu Du-yeol, and Sim Jae-won of the Korea national baseball team postponed joining the Giants to play for the country in the 1982 Amateur World Series held in Seoul.
In 1984, the Giants won their first Korean Series title in the third season after the KBO League was launched. They beat the Samsung Lions 4–3 in the Korean Series. They were led by Choi Dong-won, one of the most dominant pitchers in the Korea Professional Baseball league, who finished the 1984 season with 27 wins, 223 strikeouts, and a 2.40 ERA and won the regular season MVP Award. In the 1984 Korean Series, he appeared in five out of seven games, had a 4–1 record (one shutout, three complete games, and one five-inning relief appearance), and pitched 40 innings in ten days.
The Giants made one of the biggest trades in KBO League history after the 1988 season when they sent star pitcher Choi Dong-Won and Kim Yong-chul to the Samsung Lions for star hitter Jang Hyo-jo and star pitcher Kim Si-Jin.
The Giants made it back to the Korean Series in 1995 and 1999, losing both times. They have not appeared in the Korean Series since 1999.
From 2001 to 2007 the Giants did not qualify for the postseason, finishing in last place four consecutive years (2001-2004). In mid-season 2001 the Giants' manager Kim Myung-seong, who had been in charge of the team since 1998, died of a heart attack. He was replaced by Woo Yong-deuk.
Late in 2007, the Giants signed American Jerry Royster to become the manager of the Giants, making him the first-ever non-Korean to take the helm of one of South Korea's professional baseball clubs. Royster served as the Giants' manager through the 2010 season, guiding the team to the playoffs all three years he was at the helm.
Popularity and attendanceEdit
The Giants are the most popular team in the Korea Baseball Organization league. According to a Gallup Korea's survey conducted in 2011, the Giants were chosen as the most popular team three times in a row. They attracted over 1 million fans to Sajik Baseball Stadium in 1991 for the first time in league history. In the 2009 season, they set the all-time record of home attendance of 1,380,018 fans. In the 2011 season, they also led the league in the total home attendance with 1,358,322 fans at 67 home games. The average attendance was 20,273 fans per game, meaning the stadium was 71 percent full on average per game. From 2008 to 2011, they drew over 1 million fans four years consecutively, which was the first time in Korean professional baseball history.
|1982||Gudeok Baseball Stadium||KBO||5/6||5/6||40||13||27||0||.325||.256||59||3.95||Did not qualify|
|1983||KBO||6/6||4/6||50||22||27||1||.449||.244||78||3.79||Did not qualify|
|1984||KBO||1/6||4/6||50||21||28||1||.429||.257||71||3.31||Won Korean Series vs. Samsung Lions (4–3)||Choi Dong-won (MVP)|
|1985||KBO||2/6||4/6||55||27||28||0||.491||.256||77||3.05||Did not qualify|
|1986||Sajik Baseball Stadium||KBO||4/7||3/7||54||30||20||4||.600||.248||37||2.74||Did not qualify|
|1987||KBO||3/7||4/7||54||27||25||2||.519||.268||40||3.36||Did not qualify|
|1988||KBO||3/7||4/7||54||29||24||1||.546||.270||68||3.59||Did not qualify|
|1989||KBO||7/7||7/7||120||48||67||5||.421||.247||38||3.91||Did not qualify|
|1990||KBO||6/7||6/7||120||44||71||4||.388||.245||41||4.43||Did not qualify|
|1991||KBO||4/8||4/8||126||61||62||3||.496||.260||73||3.91||Lost Semi-playoff vs. Samsung Lions (1–1–2)|
|1992||KBO||1/8||3/8||126||71||55||1||.563||.288||68||4.28||Won Semi-playoff vs. Samsung Lions (2–0)
Won Playoff vs. Haitai Tigers (3–2)
Won Korean Series vs. Binggrae Eagles (4–1)
|Yeom Jong-seok (ROTY)|
|1993||KBO||6/8||6/8||126||62||63||1||.496||.248||29||3.33||Did not qualify|
|1994||KBO||6/8||6/8||126||56||67||3||.456||.257||58||4.44||Did not qualify|
|1995||KBO||2/8||2/8||126||68||53||5||.560||.255||65||3.47||Won Playoff vs. LG Twins (4–2)
Lost Korean Series vs. OB Bears (3–4)
|1996||KBO||5/8||5/8||126||57||63||6||.476||.274||72||4.16||Did not qualify|
|1997||KBO||8/8||8/8||126||48||77||1||.385||.237||75||4.58||Did not qualify|
|1998||KBO||8/8||8/8||126||50||72||4||.410||.255||86||4.61||Did not qualify|
|1999||Dream League||2/8||2/4||132||75||52||5||.591||.291||145||4.18||Won Playoff vs. Samsung Lions (4–3)
Lost Korean Series vs. Hanwha Eagles (1–4)
|2000||Magic League||5/8||2/4||133||65||64||4||.504||.260||104||4.02||Lost Semi-playoff vs. Samsung Lions (1–2)|
|2001||KBO||8/8||8/8||133||59||70||4||.457||.280||121||4.68||Did not qualify|
|2002||KBO||8/8||8/8||133||35||97||1||.265||.245||85||4.74||Did not qualify|
|2003||KBO||8/8||8/8||133||39||91||3||.300||.256||73||5.01||Did not qualify|
|2004||KBO||8/8||8/8||133||50||72||11||.410||.252||88||4.22||Did not qualify|
|2005||KBO||5/8||5/8||126||58||67||1||.464||.253||83||4.31||Did not qualify||Son Min-han (MVP)|
|2006||KBO||7/8||7/8||126||50||73||3||.407||.250||88||3.88||Did not qualify|
|2007||KBO||7/8||7/8||126||55||68||3||.447||.270||76||4.14||Did not qualify|
|2008||KBO||4/8||3/8||126||69||57||0||.548||.282||93||3.68||Lost Semi-playoff vs. Samsung Lions (0–3)|
|2009||KBO||4/8||4/8||133||66||67||0||.496||.277||121||4.75||Lost Semi-playoff vs. Doosan Bears (1–3)|
|2010||KBO||4/8||4/8||133||69||61||3||.531||.288||185||4.82||Lost Semi-playoff vs. Doosan Bears (2–3)||Lee Dae-ho (MVP)|
|2011||KBO||3/8||2/8||133||72||56||5||.563||.288||111||4.20||Lost Playoff vs. SK Wyverns (2–3)|
|2012||KBO||4/8||4/8||133||65||62||6||.512||.263||73||3.48||Won Semi-playoff vs. Doosan Bears (3–1)
Lost Playoff vs. SK Wyverns (2–3)
|2013||KBO||5/9||5/9||128||66||58||4||.532||.261||61||3.93||Did not qualify|
|2014||KBO||7/9||7/9||128||59||68||1||.457||.287||121||5.19||Did not qualify|
|2015||KBO||8/10||8/10||144||66||77||1||.462||.280||177||5.07||Did not qualify|
|2016||KBO||8/10||8/10||144||66||78||0||.458||.288||127||5.63||Did not qualify|
|2017||KBO||3/10||3/10||144||80||62||2||.563||.286||151||4.57||Lost Semi-playoff vs. NC Dinos (2–3)|
|2018||KBO||7/10||7/10||144||68||74||2||.479||.289||203||5.37||Did not qualify|
|2019||KBO||10/10||10/10||144||48||93||3||.340||.250||90||4.87||Did not qualify|
|2020||KBO||7/10||7/10||144||71||72||1||.497||Did not qualify|
The club's first retired number is Choi Dong-won's squad number 11. He was one of the top pitchers in the Korea Professional Baseball league, playing for the Giants between 1983 and 1988, and winning the KBO MVP award in 1984. Choi died of cancer in 2011.
- Park Young-gil (1982-1983)
- Kang Byeong-chel (1983-1986)
- Seong Gi-young (1987)
- Eu Woo-hong (1987-1989)
- Kim Jin-young (1989-1990)
- Shosuke Doi (1990) (caretaker)
- Kang Byeong-chel (2) (1990-1993)
- Kim Yong-hee (1993-1998)
- Kim Myung-seong (1998-2001)
- Woo Yong-deuk (2001-2002)
- Kim Yong-hee (2) (2002) (caretaker)
- Baek In-cheon (2002-2003)
- Kim Yong-cheol (2003) (caretaker)
- Yang Sang-moon (2003-2005)
- Kang Byeong-chel (3) (2005-2007)
- Jerry Royster (2008-2010)
- Yang Seung-ho (2011-2012)
- Kwon Doo-jo (2012) (caretaker)
- Kim Si-jin (2012-2014)
- Lee Jong-un (2014-2015)
- Cho Won-woo (2015-2018)
- Yang Sang-moon (2) (2018-2019)
- Kong Pil-seong (2019) (caretaker)
- Heo Moon-hoi (2019-present)
- Latter half pennant winner.
- "Complete league history and statistics" (in Korean). Korean Baseball League. Archived from the original on 13 April 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
- Yoon, Hyun (2011-09-30). "Iron arm Choi Dong-Won becomes Busans everlasting number 11" (in Korean). Ohmynews.com. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- KBO 역대관중현황 Archived December 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Byeong-Min, Yu. MIN"KBO clubs invest in popular cheerleading songs," Korea JoongAng Daily (May 3, 2015).
- (in Korean) 한국시리즈 '나홀로 4승' 불꽃투, 우승 이끌다 Archived 2012-03-26 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Seoul. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- Yoon, Chul (2011-09-07). "Korean baseball legend Jang dies at 55". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
- Yonhap. "KBO manager's collapse shows how stressful the job is," Korea JoongAng Daily (June 28, 2020).
- Herman, Ken (June 26, 2008). "Ex-Brave Royster now managing in Korea". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- Korea JoongAng Daily.[dead link]
- 프로야구 롯데, 3회 연속 최고 인기구단 (in Korean). Article.joinsmsn.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- "Archived copy" 홈관중몰이 1위 롯데 (in Korean). News.sportsseoul.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2013-08-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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