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LG Twins sweep up baseball All-Star starting positions

All Headlines 10:59 July 08, 2013

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, July 8 (Yonhap) -- The LG Twins in the nation's top baseball competition became only the second team in league history to be represented in all starting positions at an All-Star Game.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced on Monday the LG Twins will have all 11 starting players in the Western League: eight positions players, one starting pitcher, one relief pitcher and one designated hitter.

The Twins have joined the 2012 Lotte Giants as the only clubs to sweep up all starting positions at the midsummer affair in the league's 31-year history.

In the nine-team KBO, the Western League is made up of the Twins, the Kia Tigers, the Nexen Heroes, the Hanwha Eagles and the expansion NC Dinos.

The Eastern League features the remaining four clubs: the Samsung Lions, the SK Wyverns, the Doosan Bears and the Lotte Giants.

Bong Jung-keun, an ex-Major League Baseball pitcher and now the closer for the Twins, led all players with 1.17 million votes, becoming the first pitcher to lead All-Star fan voting.

According to the KBO, the voting went from June 10 to July 7 via a local Web portal and the KBO smartphone application. The total number of votes amounted to an all-time record of 2.22 million.

This year's All-Star Game will be held on July 19 in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, about 370 kilometers southeast of Seoul. It's a neutral location with no KBO club, but the Lions, based in the nearby Daegu, have played a few alternative home games in Pohang this season.

Based in Seoul, the Twins have long boasted one of the league's most loyal fan bases. Through Sunday's games, the Twins were in third place behind the Lions and the Heroes at 39-31, giving their frustrated fans hopes of their first playoff appearance since 2002.

So far in 2013, the Twins lead all KBO teams with a little over 678,000 fans at their home, 25,500-seat Jamsil Stadium.

Other Twins starting All-Stars are: Radhames Liz as the starting pitcher, Hyun Jae-yoon at catcher, Kim Yong-eui at first base, Son Joo-in at second, Jeong Seong-hoon at third, Oh Ji-hwan at shortstop, and Lee Byung-kyu, Park Yong-taek and Jeong Eui-yoon in the outfield. Lee Jin-young will be the designated hitter.

Lee Byung-kyu will be making his 11th All-Star appearance, while five of his LG teammates will play their first All-Star Game.

The Eastern League had more diversity in the starting lineup. Song Seung-jun of the Giants has been voted as the starting pitcher for the fourth consecutive year. He will throw to his Lotte backstop, Kang Min-ho, who will play in his seventh straight All-Star Game.

Other Eastern League All-Star starters are closer Oh Seung-hwan (Samsung); first baseman Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung); second baseman Jeong Keun-woo (SK); third baseman Choi Jeong (SK); shortstop Shin Bon-gi (Lotte); outfielders Kim Hyun-soo (Doosan), Jeon Jun-woo (Lotte) and Son Ah-seop (Lotte); and designated hitter Kim Dae-woo (Lotte).

Ryo Joong-il, the manager of the two-time defending champs Lions, will select 12 reserve players for the Eastern League on Wednesday. Sun Dong-yol, who manages the Tigers, will do the same for the Western League team.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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