Sung-keun Kim

From BR Bullpen

Sung-keun Kim (김성근)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 181 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Sung-keun Kim has been one of the most successful coaches in the history of the Korea Baseball Organization.

Kim was born in Japan due to Korean parents and went to high school there. His Japanese name is Seikon Kanebayashi. He went to South Korea for college. He worked for a bank in South Korea and also pitched as an amateur, appearing in the 1962 Asian Championship for South Korea. He retired as a player in 1969. He coached in Korea's amateur leagues and at Shinil High School. He also coached for South Korea in the 1975 Asian Championship (Gold Medal) and 1975 Intercontinental Cup.

When the Korea Baseball Organization was formed in 1982, Kim was hired as the pitching coach of OB Bears. He held that job for two years before he was promoted to head coach (manager). He moved to the Taepyungyang Dolphins in 1989 and was there two seasons. The Samsung Lions signed him next, for 1991 and 1992. After a year's hiatus from the KBO, he returned as a pitching coach for the 1994 KIA Tigers. From 1996-1998, he managed the Ssangbangwool Raiders. He returned as the Twins' manager in 2002 and guided them to the Korean Series, where they fell. It was the first Korean Series visit for Kim in 14 years as a manager.

The Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan hired Kim as a coach for 2005; a key role he had was to work with prized Korean signee Seung-yeop Lee. In 2007, Kim returned to Korea as manager of the SK Wyverns. He led them to victory in the 2007 Korean Series and 2008 Korean Series. Also in 2008, he led SK to the best record in KBO history (83-43) and reached 1,000 career wins as a manager, only the second person in KBO history to do so. Kim was offered the job of managing South Korea in the 2009 World Baseball Classic but he turned it down.

In November of 2008, Kim signed a 2 billion won contract (with a 800 million won signing bonus) for 3 years; it made him the highest-paid manager in KBO annals.

Kim's Wyverns made it to the 2009 Korean Series but fell in 7 games to the KIA Tigers; the finale went into the bottom of the ninth before Ji-wan Na hit a walk-off homer. KIA's manager was Bum-hyun Cho, a Kim disciple. SK won the 2010 Korean Series.