Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shim Jeong-soo Rides Off Into the Sunset

Samsung Lions slugger, Shim Jeong-soo, has called it a career. The 33-year old 1st baseman has grown weary of his rehab and has decided to hang it up. The 15-year vet ended his career with a .287 batting average, 328 homeruns and 1,029 RBIs.

Shim spent the first 7 years of his career with the OB/Doosan Bears. His finest year in a Bears uni came in 1999. He finished the season with a .335 average, 31 homers and 110 RBIs. Shim moved on to the Hyundai Unicorns in 2001. He posted a 46 homer season in 2002 and a 53(!) homerun season in 2003. After a disappointing 2004 season, Shim bolted for the Samsung Lions and a 6 billion won contract. The contract Shim signed after 2004 was the largest contract ever given to a player in the KBO. Shim posted a solid season in 2005, but failed to live up to his contract. His 2006 season ended prematurely after knee and shoulder injuries limited Shim to only 85 at bats. Shim bounced back in 2007 to lead the league in homeruns and RBI, but he was bitten by the injury bug again in 2008 after only 68 plate appearances.

Shim will be sorely missed in the Samsung lineup. As one of the few Samsung Lions/Chicago White Sox fans in existence, I always felt some familiarity with Shim. His large arms, ability to hit baseballs hard and glasses reminded me of one of my heroes from my youth.

Here's to you, Hercules.

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