|Doosan Bears – No. 22|
|Born:February 28, 1977|
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|KBO: 1999 for the Doosan Bears|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Olympic medal record|
Hong Sung-Heun (Hangul: 홍성흔, Hanja: 洪性炘; born February 28, 1977 in Hoengseong County, Gangwon-do, South Korea) is a South Korean designated hitter for the Doosan Bears in the Korean Baseball Organization league. He bats and throws right-handed.
In July 1998, Hong participated in the 1998 Baseball World Cup. South Korea eventually claimed the silver medal two times in a row, and as a starting catcher he led the team attack alongside cleanup hitter Choi Hee-Seop and Park Han-Yi.
In November 1998, Hong was called up to the South Korean national team for the 1998 Asian Games, which included professional players for the first time ever. He was the only amateur catcher on the roster.
Notable international careers
|1998||Italy||Baseball World Cup||.229 BA (8-for-35), 7 RBI|
|1998||Thailand||Asian Games||.143 BA (1-for-7), 1 R|
Hong was drafted by the Doosan Bears in the first round of the KBO Draft after graduating from Kyung Hee University in 1999. In his first season, he batted a respectable .258 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI, and earned the starting position behind the plate in the Bears. Hong ended up earning KBO Rookie of the Year Award honors, becoming the first Bear since Yoon Suk-Hwan in 1984 to win the award.
In 2000, his batting average rose to .290, leading the league in batting average until the All-Star break. In September, Hong was selected as a member of the South Korea national baseball team that won their first olympic medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. In the tourney, he batted .240 with a home run and 3 RBI, sharing a starting position behind the plate with Park Kyung-Oan of the Hyundai Unicorns.
In 2004, Hong led the KBO league in hits (165), appearing in 133 all regular season games as a starting catcher. He was third in batting average (.329) and fifth in RBI (86), smacking 14 home runs and stealing 10 bases, and won his second Golden Glove Award as a catcher.
During the 2005 season, due to his hamstring injury and defensive deficiencies, Hong began to split his time between catching and designating hitting. After the season, he announced that he would not give up his catching position in the Bears, and his intention came into conflict with the team's manager Kim Kyung-Moon.
In the beginning of the 2007 season, he was sidelined with hamstring injury, and the Bears' backup catcher Chae Sang-Byung filled Hong's void behind the plate. Hong came back as the starting catcher for the Bears in the middle of the season. His offense, however, did not perform at the level expected, as he spent the majority of the season platooning with Chae Sang-Byung, and amid much controversy the manager Kim eventually named Chae the starter for the end of the season.
In 2009, Hong was runner-up in batting average again with a career-high .371, only .001 behind league-leader Park Yong-Taik of the LG Twins. On December 11, 2009, He won his fourth the Golden Glove Award in Designated hitter nomination for two consecutive years.
In 2010, Hong was runner-up in batting average, hits, RBI, Slugging percentage, OPS, third in On-base percentage and fourth in Homeruns. On July 24, 2010, He became All-star Game MVP. He also became the most voted All-star game player of KBO history. On December 11, 2010, He won his fifth the Golden Glove Award in Designated hitter nomination for three consecutive years.
Awards and honors
- 2001 Golden Glove Award (Catcher)
- 2004 Golden Glove Award (Catcher)
- 2008 Golden Glove Award (Designated hitter)
- 2009 Golden Glove Award (Designated hitter)
- 2010 Golden Glove Award (Designated hitter)
- 2011 Golden Glove Award (Designated hitter)
Notable international careers
|1999||South Korea||Asian Baseball Championship||.125 BA (1-for-8), 1 R|
|2000||Australia||Olympic Games||.240 BA (6-for-25), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R|
|2002||South Korea||Asian Games||.240 BA (4-for-15), 2 RBI, 2 R|
|2006||United States||World Baseball Classic||.500 BA (2-for-4), 1 RBI|
- "Baseball: Medallists from previous World Cups". Beijing 2008. July 17, 2008. Archived from the original on September 3, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2009.
- Lee, Jae-guk (November 28, 2006). "Korean Baseball History at the Asian Games (2): Inaugural Dream Team". Sports Seoul (in Korean).
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