The Samsung Lions won 9-6 against the NC Dinos of the 2023 Shinhan Bank Solar KBO League at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, South Korea on Saturday. Samsung remained in seventh place with a record of 23-23-28 in 51 games.
Samsung’s “closer,” Oh Seung-hwan, took the mound in the top of the ninth inning. He gave up a leadoff single to Son As-seob, but got Seo Ho-cheol to fly out to second base, struck out Jae-hwan Lee, and got Jason Martin to ground out to first base. This erased an inning and preserved the win for Oh, who earned his first save.
It was Oh’s eighth save of the season and his 500th career save in Korea, the United States, and Japan. It’s quite a feat.
Born in 1982, Oh first donned a Samsung jersey in 2005 with the No. 5 overall pick in the second round. The following year, in 2006, his first year as a full-time closer, he recorded 47 saves, the most in a single season in KBO history.
Described as a workhorse who could face 100 batters on the mound, he went on to become Samsung’s closer and kick-start the Lions’ dynasty.
Seung-hwan Oh began his overseas career in 2014 when he moved to the Hanshin Tigers in Japan, where he also excelled. In 2016, he moved to the American Major League Baseball, where he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays 토토사이트, and Colorado Rockies. He still has fond memories of locking the back door of the St. Louis dugout while sharing a battery with top catcher Yadier Molina.
Seung-hwan Oh returned to Samsung in 2019, and with this save, he now has 378 career saves in the KBO. He made 80 saves in Japan and 42 saves in the United States, bringing his total to 500 saves in Korea, the United States, and Japan.
While direct comparisons are difficult due to the different leagues, only Mariano Rivera (652 saves) and Trevor Hoffman (601 saves) have surpassed 500 saves in Major League Baseball. In Nippon Professional Baseball, Hitoki Iwase’s 407 saves is the most. 500 saves in a single league are also rare, and of course, there is no combined 500 saves in Korea, the United States, and Japan. Oh Seung-hwan accomplished such a feat.
It’s even more impressive that he did it in the face of adversity. Seung-hwan Oh has had his ups and downs this season, and for the first time in his career, he’s had to make a start to improve his form. However, the closer overcame this to reach 500 saves. A record for the ages.