Kia Tigers

Korea Baseball Championship franchise in Gwangju, South Korea

The Kia Tigers is a professional baseball team in South Korea. The team started in 1982 with the name of Haitai Tigers. Haitai sold the team to Kia in 2001. They won the Korean Series 9 times as Haitai Tigers (1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997). They won again in 2009 and 2017. Winning 11 times is the top record among all Korean baseball teams. They never lost the Korean Series so far.

Their main stadium was the Mudeung Baseball Stadium in Gwangju from 1982 to 2013, and is now the Gwangju-Kia Champions Field, also in Gwangju.

HistoryEdit

1982 - 1997Edit

The Haitai Tigers was the third professional baseball team in Korea, following OB Bears (currently Doosan Bears) and MBC Blue Dragons (currently LG Twins). It started on January 30, 1982 with only 14 players and the manager. In 1983, the team hired Kim Eung-ryong as manager and they won the Korean Series for the first time.

After the team signed Sun Dong-yeol in 1985, the Haitai Tigers Dynasty started. They won the Korean Series for 4 straight years (1986-1989). Another superstar, Lee Jong-beom, made his debut in 1993. He won the Korean Series MVP in his debut season. From 1982 to 1997, the team won the Korean Series 9 times.

1998 - 2000Edit

Because of the financial problem of Haitai company, the team started to sell many good players including Lee Jong-beom and Lim Chang-yong.

2001 - NowEdit

Kia took over the baseball team and the name was changed to Kia Tigers. Lee Jong-beom returned from Japan and he was retired in 2012. In 2005, the Kia Tigers ended the season in the lowest place for the first time ever. However, in 2009, the team won the Korean Series with Na Ji-wan's dramatic walk-off home-run in the last game. It was the first victory after 1997 and as Kia Tigers. In 2012, Sun Dong-yeol, the legendary superstar in Tigers, became the manager of the team, but failed to make the team reach the postseason for 3 years.

Key playersEdit

Pitchers: Yoon Suk-min, Seo Jae-Weong, Kim Jin-woo

Field Players: Lee Yong-kyu, Choi Hee-seop, Lee Bum-ho