SSG Landers (Korean: SSG 랜더스) is a South Korean professional baseball team. The team was originally established as the SK Wyverns but was renamed as the SSG Landers in 2021 after Shinsegae acquired the team from SK Group. They are a member of the KBO League. Based in Incheon, they play their home games at Incheon SSG Landers Field.
|Location||Incheon, South Korea|
|Ballpark||Incheon SSG Landers Field (2002–present)|
|League championships||2007, 2008, 2010|
|Korean Series championships||2007, 2008, 2010, 2018|
|Colors||Charismatic Red, White, Yellow |
2000: Formation (SK Wyverns)Edit
In the 2000 season, the Ssangbangwool Raiders, a team that had represented the Jeollabuk-do region since 1990, was dissolved because of the bankruptcy of the Ssangbangwool Group, the team's owner. The franchise was subsumed by the KBO, which then awarded a new franchise to the SK conglomerate. The new franchise was named the SK Wyverns. So the Raiders and the Wyverns have no historical links, although the new team consisted mostly of former Raiders players.
The Hyundai Unicorns moved out of Incheon to go to Seoul but failed because of the resistance of the Doosan Bears and the LG Twins; the Unicorns then moved to Suwon, with the SK Wyverns filling the void left in Incheon.
In 2007, SK defeated the Doosan Bears in six games to win the 2007 Korean Series – the first time the franchise had won the Korean Series – after finishing the season in first place. They became the first team in Korean Series history to win after losing the first two games. Designated Hitter Kim Jae-hyun was the series MVP.
SK went on to compete in the Konami Cup, a short competition between the champions of the Korean Baseball League, the Japanese Baseball League, the Taiwanese Baseball League, and the China All-Stars. On November 8, 2007, SK Wyverns defeated the Chunichi Dragons (6–3), giving Chunichi their first-ever loss in Konami Cup history. On November 9, 2007, SK soundly defeated the China All-Stars (13–0), causing the game to be called in the seventh inning due to the mercy rule. On November 10, 2007, the Wyverns repeated their performance, defeating the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions of Taiwan (13–1) in 7 innings. The final game, on November 11, 2007, was a rematch of the first game, between the Chunichi Dragons and the SK Wyverns. In an extremely close game, Chunichi won the game, 6–5.
SK went 83–43–0 in 2008, with a winning percentage of .659, the highest in KBO League history. The team went to the Korean Series again, once again facing their main rivals, the Doosan Bears. In a repeat of 2007, SK defeated Doosan to win their second Korean Series championship. Choi Jeong was named the 2008 Korean Series MVP.
SK once again went on to compete in the Konami Cup. On November 13, 2008, SK Wyverns defeated the Seibu Lions (4–3), marking the second straight year in which the Korean champions handed the Japanese champions a loss in this competition. On November 14, 2008, they once again defeated the Chinese representatives, the Tianjin Lions, in a mercy-rule shortened game. On November 15, 2008, however, they were soundly defeated in a rematch with Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions of Taiwan (10–4) and failed to qualify for the championship game for a second straight year.
SK rebounded to form in 2010, dominating the regular season and winning the Korean Series in a 4–0 sweep against the Samsung Lions. It was SK's fourth straight Korean Series appearance and their third title in four years. The Wyverns also had a 22-game winning streak that ended in April 2010, the longest winning streak in Korean Baseball.
In 2011, manager Kim Sung-keun was ousted mid-season after a long-standing disagreement between him and the SK front office. This led to then-head coach Lee Man-soo taking over the reins – a move that brought a lot of protests from the SK Wyverns fans, as Kim had led SK to the Korean Series in every year that he had been at the helm.
In both 2011 and 2012, SK reached the Korean Series, where they were both times defeated by the Samsung Lions. SK reached the Korean Series every season from 2007 to 2012 (six straight seasons).
In 2018, SK faced the Doosan Bears again in the Korean Series and won another championship. This was their fourth win, and three of four wins against Doosan.
2021–present (SSG Landers)Edit
In January 2021, Shinsegae said it would acquire a professional baseball club owned by SK Group as it sought to boost marketing with the sports team. Shinsegae announced that it would buy the SK Wyverns baseball club from SK Telecom for 135.2 billion won ($122 million), with Shinsegae's e-mart taking over the team's management. The group would pay 100 billion won for a 100-percent stake in the club and 35.2 billion won for facilities and properties. The e-mart-run baseball club was launched in March with a new name, emblem and character. The deal was finalized on February 23, 2021.
KBO has its own distinctive culture, for this reason, teams have applied different branding and marketing strategies that are uniquely oriented to attract the attention of KBO fans. Teams are adding new entertainment factors such as cheerleading, music, and scouting new mascots. Also, teams try to apply marketing techniques that attract local fans and communities. As the newest team in the league SSG Landers have been actively communicating with fans to earn the support of the original SK Wyverns fans and locals in Incheon.
SSG Landers has benefited economically and gained positive public opinions from the fans and society through successful green campaigns. SSG Landers developed a uniform from recycled polyester. Instead of their team logo on the front, they have dedicated the center spot of the uniform to the slogan “Let’s go green”. Even though the team’s traditional colors were red, yellow, and orange they used green for the special uniform.
Also, they changed their home stadium, Incheon SK Happy Dream Park Munhak Baseball Stadium (currently known as Incheon SSG Landers Field) into a green theme park. They added green seats in the outfield seat sections. They also installed solar panels and switched to eco-friendly machines. For example, they changed their original bullpen cart to an electric cart.
The green theme extends to fan events. Fans that used bikes to get to the stadium received discounted tickets. By contributing to the social good and taking social responsibility for the environment, SK Wyverns has received more attention and recognition from the public.
|8/8||4/4||133||44||86||3||.338||.260||105||5.99||Did not qualify||Lee Seung-ho (ROTY)|
|2001||7/8||7/8||133||60||71||2||.458||.260||113||4.41||Did not qualify|
|6/8||6/8||133||61||69||3||.469||.270||158||4.47||Did not qualify|
|2003||2/8||4/8||133||66||64||3||.508||.272||156||4.44||Won Semi-playoff vs. Samsung Lions (2–0)
Won Playoff vs. KIA Tigers (3–0)
Lost Korean Series vs. Hyundai Unicorns (3–4)
|2004||5/8||5/8||133||61||64||8||.488||.272||138||4.40||Did not qualify|
|2005||3/8||3/8||126||70||50||6||.583||.269||122||3.41||Lost Semi-playoff vs. Hanwha Eagles (2–3)|
|2006||6/8||6/8||126||60||65||1||.480||.254||99||3.80||Did not qualify|
|2007||1/8||1/8||126||73||48||5||.603||.264||112||3.24||Won Korean Series vs. Doosan Bears (4–2)|
|2008||1/8||1/8||126||83||43||0||.659||.282||89||3.22||Won Korean Series vs. Doosan Bears (4–1)||Kim Kwang-hyun (MVP)|
|2009||2/8||2/8||133||80||47||6||.602||.285||166||3.67||Won Playoff vs. Doosan Bears (3–2)
Lost Korean Series vs. KIA Tigers (3–2)
|2010||1/8||1/8||133||84||47||2||.641||.274||120||3.71||Won Korean Series vs. Samsung Lions (4–0)|
|2011||2/8||3/8||133||71||59||3||.546||.263||100||3.35||Won Semi-playoff vs. KIA Tigers (3–1)
Won Playoff vs. Lotte Giants (3–2)
Lost Korean Series vs. Samsung Lions (1–4)
|2012||2/8||2/8||133||71||59||3||.546||.258||108||3.82||Won Playoff vs. Lotte Giants (3–2)
Lost Korean Series vs. Samsung Lions (2–4)
|2013||6/9||6/9||128||62||63||3||.496||.265||124||4.16||Did not qualify|
|2014||5/9||5/9||128||61||65||2||.484||.291||115||5.51||Did not qualify|
|2015||5/10||5/10||144||69||73||2||.486||.272||145||4.71||Lost Wild Card vs. Nexen Heroes (0–1)|
|2016||6/10||6/10||144||69||75||0||.479||.291||182||4.87||Did not qualify|
|2017||5/10||5/10||144||75||68||1||.524||.271||234||5.02||Lost Wild Card vs. NC Dinos (0–1)|
|2018||1/10||2/10||144||78||65||1||.545||.281||233||4.67||Won Playoff vs. Nexen Heroes (3–2)
Won Korean Series vs. Doosan Bears (4–2)
|2019||3/10||2/10||144||88||55||1||.615||.262||117||3.50||Lost Playoff vs. Kiwoom Heroes (0–3)|
|2020||9/10||9/10||144||51||92||1||.357||Did not qualify|
- "Sung-keun Kim," BR Bullpen. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
- "Kbo리그 최다 22연승…2009∼2010년 Sk의 추억". 20 June 2016.
- "Wyverns abruptly fire manager Kim Sung-keun," The Korea Times (Aug. 18, 2011).
- "Shinsegae acquires pro baseball club from SK Telecom". Yonhap News Agency. 2021-01-26. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
- Jin, Min-ji (2021-01-31). "Buying a ball club is about more than money for Shinsegae". Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
- Yoo, Jee-ho (2021-02-01). "SSG Electros? Shinsegae applies for trademark on potential new baseball team name". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
- Park, Sung-Bae Roger, Sang-Hyun Shin, and JungTaek Shin. "The development of spectator motivation scale for South korean professional baseball fans." IJASS (International Journal of Applied Sports Sciences) 29.1 (2017)
- Choi, Joon-Seo Andrew. "Going green in baseball–a case study of the SK Wyverns." International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship (2016) p.376
- "프로야구 '그린스포츠' 두달, 160가구 한달 쓸 전기량 아꼈다". 22 June 2010.
- Choi, Joon-Seo Andrew. "Going green in baseball–a case study of the SK Wyverns." International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship (2016) p.377
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