October 23, 1994. LG defeated Pacific 3-2 in Game 4 of the Korean Series to win the best-of-four series and the Korean Series title. Twenty-nine years and 10,613 days later.
On Nov. 13, 2023, LG finally got its wish. LG defeated KT 6-2 in Game 5 of the 2023 KBO Korean Series at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Nov. 13 to win the series 4-1 and lift the Korean Series trophy. After 29 years. Manager Yoon Kyung-yeop put an end to LG’s streak.
When asked in an official post-game interview how it felt to end LG’s 29-year championship drought, Yeom said, “It was a lot of pressure. We started the season with a lot of pressure. In April and May, when the starting lineup collapsed and the winning group struggled, I couldn’t sleep to be honest. There was no way I was going to die there. Our guys held up really well. The bats exploded and filled in the gaps. Park Myung-geun, Yoo Young-chan, Baek Seung-hyun, and Ham Deok-ju, our new pitching staff, held on, and I think that’s how we made it through May.”
Looking back at Games 1-5 of the Korean Series, Yeom said, “The biggest challenge was when (Game 2 starter) Choi Won-tae didn’t last the first inning. If we change pitchers and give up even one run in the rest of the innings, 먹튀검증 we will lose the second game, and if we lose the second game, this series is bound to be difficult no matter how desperate and passionate we are. Also, we were the weakest team in terms of the ability to overcome from behind, and that anxiety was the most intense when Choi Won-tae was pulled in the second game.”
Eleven managers have gone through LG before the team won the Korean Series in 29 years.
With a fan base that rivaled any other team in terms of popularity, LG’s manager was a poisoned chalice. After winning the Korean Series in 1994, the team’s performance was up and down, and the managerial position changed frequently.
LG, which joined the KBO after acquiring MBC Cheongryong in 1990, is the 14th manager of the franchise, starting with Baek Incheon. Of the 13 managers who came before him, only two succeeded in renewing their contracts, Lee Kwang-hwan, the second manager, and Chun Bo-sung, the third, but neither lasted long in their positions. Both coaches were fired in their first seasons due to poor performance. Lee Kwang-hwan, who led LG to the 1994 Korean Series title, was given a three-year contract after the season. However, he was fired in mid-July after the team slipped to seventh place during the 1996 season. He was halfway through his contract. Chun Bo-sung, who took over as LG manager in November 1996, led the team to back-to-back Korean Series titles in 1997 and 1998. He was given a two-year contract extension after the season, but was fired after the 1999 season when the team finished sixth. In 2000, Lee Kwang-eun took over as manager (December 1999-May 2001), followed by Kim Sung-geun (May 2001-November 2002), Lee Kwang-hwan (December 2002-October 2003), Lee Sun-cheol (October 2003-June 2006), acting manager Yang Seung-ho, and Kim Jae-bak (October 2006-September 2009), Park Jong-hoon (October 2009-October 2011), Kim Ki-tae (October 2011-April 2014), Cho Kye-hyun (acting manager), Yang Sang-moon (May 2014-October 2017), Ryu Jung-il (October 2017-November 2020), and Ryu Ji-hyun (November 2020-November 2022).
Since 2000, none have been re-signed
Lee Kwang-eun, Kim Sung-geun, Lee Sun-cheol, Park Jong-hoon, and Kim Ki-tae stepping down midway through their contracts. Of the past 13 coaches, seven, more than half, did not complete their terms. Six coaches completed their contracts.
Ryu Ji-hyun, who finished third in the 2021 season and second in the 2022 season with a regular-season record of 87 wins, 2 ties and 55 losses (.613 winning percentage), set a new franchise record for most wins in LG’s history, but his contract was not renewed after the team was upset in the Fall League for the second consecutive year.
Thirsty for their first Korean Series title since 1994, LG’s top brass hired Yoon last November after much deliberation. Yeom first joined LG in 2008 as a front office manager and served as the first team defense coach from 2010-2011. He left in 2012 to coach Nexen (now Kiwoom), returning to the head coaching ranks after 11 years.
When LG offered him the head coaching job, he made it clear:
“Our goal is the Korean Series and winning the title.” Yeom led LG to its first regular-season title since 1994 and its first Korean Series title in 29 years, making him a “championship hitter.
After retiring as a player, Yeom worked as a front office manager and coach at Hyundai before moving to LG in 2008. He started out as a scout, then worked his way up to head of operations and defense coach before leaving after the 2011 season. He returned to LG as head coach and completed a 29-year championship drought.
“It’s very emotional, because I was criticized a lot at LG (when I left), and it was a situation where someone had to take responsibility, and I was the one who had to go… It was a situation that could only be quieted if I left. I told the owner at that time. I told him that I would come back later if I was successful. When I was offered the LG head coaching job by chance, I thought I was incredibly lucky. The team had the closest championship record of any team I’ve ever managed. I prepared hard to turn my luck into results. It was a lot of pressure, but the players gave me strength. The front office also had faith in me.”