Director Lee Seung-yeop, who was worried because he had no leadership experience, was a prepared coach. Beginner coach Lee Seung-yeop accomplished a feat that neither national coaches nor master coaches led the Korean Series for 7 consecutive years for the first time in the KBO League.
The Doosan Bears won 8-5 in Game 9 of the season against the Lotte Giants in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 25th.
Doosan recorded 44 wins, 1 draw and 36 losses in the season, running a 11-game winning streak with a 3-game winning streak. The 11th consecutive win is a new record for the most consecutive wins since the establishment of the Bears club, surpassing the previous 10th consecutive win (coach Kim In-sik in June 2000 and coach Kim Tae-hyung in June 2018). The first record was created after 5284 games in the Bears’ career.
Coach Lee Seung-yeop also broke the record for the most consecutive wins in his first year as the KBO League domestic coach. In 1997, LG coach Cheon Bo-seong, Hanwha coach Lee Hee-soo in 1999, and LG coach Lee Kwang-eun in 2000 reached 11 consecutive wins, exceeding 10 consecutive wins.
Coach Jerry Royster, the first foreign coach in the KBO League, took over as Lotte head coach in 2008 and led the team to 11 consecutive victories. Coach Lee Seung-yeop tied the record for the most consecutive wins in his debut season as a manager. Now, if you add one win, you can write a new history of the most consecutive wins in the first year of taking over as the KBO league command tower.
Coach Lee Seung-yeop, whom we met after the game, said, “Shouldn’t the players be interviewed?” But he didn’t think too much when it was over. He goes to high five with the players at the end, but he sees the scoreboard and finds out that he has won 11 games in a row. I felt good at that time,” he said calmly.
Doosan, which suffered the humiliation of ninth place for the first time in its founding last year, chose Lee Seung-yeop, the “national hitter,” as the right person to renew the team. At the time of his appointment, it was true that his concerns were greater than his expectations. This is because Lee Seung-yeop, who had a career that no one could match during his active career, including the career home run record (467), had no field leadership experience after retiring in 2017. He continued to contribute to the development of baseball by serving as a commentator, KBO public relations ambassador, and chairman of the Baseball Scholarship Foundation, but this was a separate area from leaders such as managers and coaches.
He went beyond senior coaches like Gi Ra-seong and rewrote the Bears club and KBO League domestic coaching record for the first year. Director Lee said, “I have been in charge for less than a year. “I think it’s time for us to get better little by little. I also had a lot of hard times since the opening day. But as the team stabilized little by little and I got to know the players, the record came so far. The players did a good job,” he showed a humble attitude.
“All evaluations must be received after the season is over. There are still about 60 games left. “I don’t know what else will happen from tomorrow.” If we fall a little, we will make a team that can endure without falling too much. All evaluations should be done after the season is over.”
Captain Heo Gyeong-min was cited as the main player in achieving the record. Coach Lee said, “Heo Kyung-min is leading the team so well. If the losing streak gets longer and the team doesn’t go the way they want, there will be distrust and internal problems, but this has never happened before. A good atmosphere is forming around the captain. I think this is the secret to rebounding without falling too much this year.”
If Lee wins against Lotte in Jamsil on the 26th, he can set a new record for the most consecutive wins in his debut season as a manager. “The game is always about winning. Tomorrow (26th) we will start with Gwak Bin. At the beginning of the season, the fielders were sluggish and the pitchers felt burdened, but now I hope they can throw comfortably with the thought that they can give 1 or 2 runs.”
They did not forget to greet the fans who generously supported them until they transformed last year’s 9th place team into a 3rd place team with 11 consecutive victories. Coach Lee said, “I will work hard for the team by winning a little more in the future,” and “I know the fans want a lot of victories. Our players will do their best until the end no matter what game they play. I want to hear the story of how hard it was at the end of the season. But it’s still too early. I will run more,” he said, revealing his determination for the rest of the season.