|League||KBO League (1982–present)|
|Location||Busan, South Korea|
|Korean Series championships||(2): 1984, 1992|
|Colors||Black and orange
|General Manager||Lee Chang-won|
The Lotte Giants (Korean: 롯데 자이언츠) are a professional baseball team based in the southeastern city of Busan, South Korea, and one of the original franchises of the KBO League. The Lotte Giants are owned by the South Korean-Japanese Lotte conglomerate, which also owns the Chiba Lotte Marines of Nippon Professional Baseball.
From 1982 through 1986, they played at Gudeok Baseball Stadium and since then have played at Sajik Baseball Stadium. They won the KBO Championship, the Korean Series, twice in 1984 and 1992. The team drew about 1.38 million spectators during the 2009 season, a record which remains as the most attendance in a single season in any Korean sports league. They are often called the Busan Seagulls (Korean: 부산 갈매기) because the official bird of the city of Busan is the seagull, and their main fight song is Busan Seagulls. Concidentally, a seagull also serves as the mascot for the Chiba Lotte Marines.
The Lotte Giants were founded as an amateur baseball team of the Korea Baseball Association in Seoul, South Korea, on 6 May 1975, when there was no professional sports team in Korea. On 22 February 1982, the Giants became professional and moved to Busan, the second largest city after Seoul in South Korea.
The Lotte Giants made their the Korea Professional Baseball league debut against the Haitai Tigers at Gudeok Baseball Stadium on 28 March 1982. They defeated the Tigers 14-2, but finished in 5th place out of six teams with a .388 winning percentage. Choi Dong-Won, Yu Do-Yeol, and Sim Jae-Won of the Korea national baseball team postponed joining the Giants to play for the country in the 1982 Amateur World Series held in Seoul, South Korea. This might be one of the reasons the Giants had such a disappointing season.
In 1984, the Giants won their first Korean Series title in the third season after the Korea Professional Baseball league was launched. They beat the Samsung Lions 4-3 in the Korean Series. They were led by Choi Dong-Won, one of the most dominant pitchers in Korea Professional Baseball league, who finished 1984 with 27 wins, 223 strikeouts, and a 2.40 ERA and won the regular season MVP Award. In the 1984 Korean Series, he appeared in 5 out of 7 games, had a 4-1 record ( 1 shutout, 3 complete games, and 1 five-inning relief appearance), and pitched 40 innings in 10 days.
The Giants suffered many game losses (41 losses) in the first half of the season because of rookie manager Yang Seung-ho's trial and error. As time passed, manager Yang found the way to make the best use of the players, and the Giants finished the regular season in second place at 72-56-5. However, they were defeated by the SK Wyverns, which finished in third place in the regular season, in the best-of-five playoffs. Thus, they didn't make it to the Korean Series. According to the league's rules on standings—the teams playing in the Korean Series have the first and second places respectively—their final place is a step down from the second place of the regular season.
During the off-season, the club failed to reach an agreement with star player Lee Dae-Ho, who later signed with the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball, while it obtained free agents Lee Seung-Ho, a former SK Wyverns left-handed reliever, and Chong Tae-Hyon, a former SK Wyverns underhand closer.
Popularity and attendance
The Giants are the most popular team in the Korea Baseball Organization league. According to a Gallup Korea's survey conducted in 2011, the Giants were chosen as the most popular team three times in a row. They attracted over 1 million fans to Sajik Baseball Stadium in 1991 for the first time in the league. In the 2009 season, they set the all-time record of home attendance of 1,380,018 fans. In the 2011 season, they also led the league in the total home attendance with 1,358,322 fans at 67 home games. The average attendance was 20,273 fans per game, and therefore the stadium was about 71 percent full. From 2008 to 2011, they drew over 1 million fans four years consecutively, which is the first time in Korean professional baseball history.
- Number 11
- The club's first retired number is Choi Dong-Won's squad number 11. He was one of the top pitchers in the Korea Professional Baseball league and died of cancer in 2011.
|1982||5||80||31||49||0||.388||Did not qualify|
|1983||6||100||42||56||1||.434||Did not qualify|
|1986||5||108||50||52||6||.490||Did not qualify|
|1987||3||108||54||49||5||.524||Did not qualify|
|1988||3||108||57||49||2||.537||Did not qualify|
|1989||7||120||48||67||5||.421||Did not qualify|
|1990||6||120||44||71||5||.388||Did not qualify|
|1993||6||126||62||63||1||.496||Did not qualify|
|1994||6||126||56||67||3||.456||Did not qualify|
|1996||5||126||57||63||6||.476||Did not qualify|
|1997||8||126||48||77||1||.385||Did not qualify|
|1998||8||126||50||72||4||.410||Did not qualify|
|2001||8||133||59||70||4||.457||Did not qualify|
|2002||8||133||35||97||1||.265||Did not qualify|
|2003||8||133||39||91||3||.300||Did not qualify|
|2004||8||133||50||72||11||.410||Did not qualify|
|2005||5||126||58||67||1||.464||Did not qualify|
|2006||7||126||50||73||3||.407||Did not qualify|
|2007||7||126||55||68||3||.447||Did not qualify|
|2013||5||128||66||58||4||.532||Did not qualify|
|2014||7||128||58||69||1||.457||Did not qualify|
|2015||8||144||66||77||1||.462||Did not qualify|
Lotte Giants roster
|Active roster||Inactive roster||Coaches/Other|
Noted former players
- Choi Dong-Won (1983–88) 
- Kim Yong-Hee (1982–89)
- Kim Yong-Cheol (1982–89)
- Kim Min-Ho (1984–96)
- Yoon Hak-Kil (1986–2000)
- Park Jeong-Tae (1991–2004)
- Lee Dae-Ho (2001–11)
- Félix José (1999, 2001, 2006–07)
- Roberto Giron (1999)
- Mario Encarnación (2003)
- José Cabrera (2006)
- Roberto Perez (2004)
- Brian Myrow (2006)
- John Gall (2006)
- David Cortés (2008)
- Jon Adkins (2009)
- Karim García (2008–10)
- Ryan Sadowski (2010–12)
- Yoon, Hyun (2011-09-30). "Iron arm Choi Dong-Won becomes Busans everlasting number 11" (in Korean). Ohmynews.com. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- KBO 역대관중현황 Archived December 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- (Korean) 한국시리즈 '나홀로 4승' 불꽃투, 우승 이끌다. Sports Seoul. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- 프로야구 롯데, 3회 연속 최고 인기구단 (in Korean). Article.joinsmsn.com. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- 홈관중몰이 1위 롯데 (in Korean). News.sportsseoul.com. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
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