KBO breathes a sigh of relief with the return of Ryu Hyun-jin after the departures of Lee Jung-hoo and Woo-seok

The KBO is already buzzing with excitement after “Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin signed a contract with his hometown team, the Hanwha Eagles.

South Korean baseball breathed a sigh of relief last year when it surpassed 8 million fans for the first time in five years, despite failing to win a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and being eliminated in the first round of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) for the third straight year.

However, after last season, the KBO’s most popular stars Lee Jung-hoo (San Francisco) and Go Woo-seok (San Diego), the LG Twins’ championship leaders, entered the U.S. Major League Baseball stage side by side, creating another sense of crisis.

Lee is South Korea’s top hitter, batting .340 (3476-for-1181) with 65 home runs, 515 RBIs and an OPS of .898 in 884 KBO games. He’s been named the league’s MVP, batting champion, and Golden Glove winner, and his good looks make him the ultimate star player.

Go Woo-seok is the closer for LG, one of the KBO’s most popular franchises, and helped lead the team to its first Korean Series title in 29 years last year.

Ryu Hyun-jin’s return to the Korean baseball scene came at a perfect time, as the league’s popularity could have been harmed by a star player exodus.

Ryu debuted in the KBO in 2006 with Hanwha and is considered one of the best pitchers in Korean baseball history, having compiled a 98-52 record with one save and a 2.80 ERA in 190 appearances over seven years before reaching the major leagues in 2013.

Ryu’s return has excited fans, as the perennial bottom-feeder has 토토 become a strong top-five contender for the 2024 season.

When Ryu Hyun-jin takes the mound in the KBO, he’s expected to draw huge crowds at home and away.

In addition, there are plenty of issues to keep fans interested, such as his 100th career KBO win, his yet-to-be-made matchup with junior Kim Kwang-hyun, and his meeting with former major leaguer Choo Shin-soo.

Already, there are rosy predictions that the KBO could surpass the previous attendance record of 8.4 million (8.688 million) set in 2017 and break the 9 million mark. The KBO has gotten a breather with the return of Ryu Hyun-jin.

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