NC Dinos

From BR Bullpen


The NC Dinos joined the Korea Baseball Organization as an expansion team that began play in 2013, the league's first growth since the Ssangbangwool Raiders joined in 1991. They play their home games at Masan Stadium and are owned by NCSoft, a software company.

They began 0-7, the worst start for a KBO expansion franchise, before Jae-hak Lee recorded the club's first victory. They finished 7th out of 9 teams at 52-72-4 and boasted ERA leader Charlie Shirek (2.48) and steal leader (50) Jong-ho Kim. Jae-hak Lee (10-5, 2.88) was named KBO Rookie of the Year.

The team improved to 70-57-1 and third place in 2014 and had their first KBO Gold Glove winner, OF Sung-bum Na. 2015 was better yet at 84-57-3 and second place in the regular season before they fell in the postseason; Eric Hacker had a league-high 19 wins, Eric Thames was the first Dino to win KBO MVP after posting the league's first 40-40 season and also winning the batting title and Na joined the two Erics to give the team three Gold Glove winners, tying for the most that year.

The Dinos made their first Korean Series in 2016, as Thames tied for the league home run lead and Na and Seok-min Park added strong bats while Hacker again was the ace starter and Chang-min Lim was a fine closer. The team fell to 79-62-3 and 4th place in 2017 as Na hit .347/.415/.584 with 103 runs and 99 RBI and Xavier Scruggs hit .300/.402/.595 with 35 HR and 111 RBI; Hacker remained the ace.

In 2018, they fell to last at 58-85-1 and initial manager Kyung-moon Kim got canned during the season. Na remained the star (.318/.381/.518, 36 2B, 23 HR, 15-17 SB, 110 R) but the pitching went south. In 2019, they rebounded to 73-69-2 and 5th place thanks to acquisition Eui-ji Yang (.354/.438/.574), the batting champ; C Yang and 2B Min-woo Park (.344/.403/.434, 89 R) were the team's first Gold Glove winners since Thames in '16.

NC then made history in 2020, with a high-flying offense of Min-woo Park (.345/.402/.475), Seok-min Park (.306/.436/.466), Eui-ji Yang (.328/.400/.603, 33 HR, 124 RBI), Sung-bum Na (.324/.390/.596, 37 2B, 34 HR, 115 R, 112 RBI) and Aaron Altherr (.278/.352/.541, 31 HR, 108 RBI) while Drew Rucinski (19-5, 3.05) and Chang-mo Koo (9-0, 1.74) led the staff. They won the 2020 Korean Series for their first title.