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KBO veteran Jeong Keun-woo announces retirement

All News 14:00 November 08, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) -- Jeong Keun-woo, a former All-Star second baseman who helped South Korea to an Olympic gold medal in 2008, announced his retirement on Sunday at age 38.

The LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said Jeong has decided to call it quits after 16 years in the league.

Jeong spent the 2020 season as a backup second baseman for the Twins, following six seasons with the Hanwha Eagles and nine years with the SK Wyverns.

In this file photo from Oct. 4, 2020, Jeong Keun-woo of the LG Twins hits an RBI double against the KT Wiz in the top of the eighth inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, 45 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

It was during his time with the Wyverns that Jeong rose to stardom. With Jeong developing into the league's top defensive second baseman and a base-stealing threat, the Wyverns won the Korean Series in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

Jeong was a member of the gold medal-winning national team at the 2008 Olympics and 2010 Asian Games, plus the runner-up squad at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

He received the Golden Glove at second base in 2006, 2009 and 2013. For his career, Jeong batted .302 with 121 home runs, 722 RBIs, 371 steals, 1,072 runs scored and 1,877 hits in 1,747 games. Jeong is tied for sixth all time in steals and ninth in runs scored. Jeong holds the KBO record with 16 career walk-off hits.

Through the Twins, Jeong said he'll take some time off to rest before thinking about his next career move.

Jeong is one of a handful of South Korean baseball stars born in 1982, once considered a golden generation of talent. From that group, Hanwha Eagles' first baseman Kim Tae-kyun announced his retirement last month.

In this file photo from June 12, 2020, Jeong Keun-woo of the LG Twins hits a walk-ff single against the Lotte Giants in the bottom of the 10th inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Two former major league players, Oh Seung-hwan of the Samsung Lions and Lee Dae-ho of the Lotte Giants, remain active and are expected to play next year. In the majors, Choo Shin-soo, another 1982 birth and a childhood friend of Lee's, is a free agent after his seven-year contract with the Texas Rangers expired after the end of this past season.


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