(MHN Sports Reporter Park Yeon-jun) ‘Closer’ Oh Seung-hwan has made history.
Oh Seung-hwan pitched the final inning of Samsung’s home game against the NC Dinos in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at 메이저놀이터 Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on April 6.
He took the mound in the top of the ninth inning with Samsung leading 9-6 and pitched one inning of one-hit, one-strikeout ball.
After giving up a leadoff single to Son As-seob, Oh got Seo Ho-chul to line drive out the next batter and struck out Jae-hyun on a slider.
He then battled Martin for seven pitches before inducing a grounder to first base for the save.
It was Oh’s eighth save of the season and his 500th career save for Korea, the United States, and Japan.
The 500th save is a huge milestone. He is the first Asian to reach 500 saves. Add to that the fact that he played as a closer in all three professional leagues, and he’s a legend.
It is also a record that will be hard to surpass, as only Mariano Rivera (652 saves) and Trevor Hoffman (601 saves) have ever accomplished the feat.
Oh joined the Samsung organization in 2005 and recorded 16 saves in his rookie year.
The following year, he made 47 saves, and in 2007, he became the youngest pitcher in KBO history to reach 100 saves in a single game.
He then became the youngest pitcher to record 150-200 saves in 2009 and 2011.
In 2012, he collected his 228th save against Daegu Nexen (now Kiwoom) to become the KBO’s all-time saves leader.
In 2014, he moved to the Nippon League, where he recorded 80 saves in two seasons with the Hanshin Tigers.
In 2016, he moved to the Major Leagues, where he recorded 42 saves in four seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, and Colorado Rockies.
Seung-hwan Oh will now attempt to reach 400 saves in the KBO. He is currently cruising along with 378 saves.
An icon of the best closers in Korea. Seung-hwan Oh’s story continues to unfold.