Oh with the Hanshin Tigers
|Hanshin Tigers – No. 22|
|Born:July 15, 1982|
|KBO League: April 3, 2005 for the Samsung Lions|
|NPB: March 29, 2014 for the Hanshin Tigers|
|KBO League statistics|
|Earned Run Average||1.69|
|Earned Run Average||1.76|
|Career highlights and awards|
|World Baseball Classic|
|2009 Los Angeles||Team|
|2006 San Diego||Team|
Oh Seung-hwan (Hangul:오 승환, Hanja: 吳 昇桓) (born July 15, 1982 in Jeollabuk-do Jeongeup, South Korea) is a relief pitcher who plays for the Hanshin Tigers in the Nippon Professional Baseball. He is known as "Dol-bucheo" (Stone Buddha) for being unshaken and maintaining an emotionless face in every situation. His prowess as a relief pitcher also earned him the nickname, "Kkeut-pan Wang," or "Final Boss." He is considered to be one of the greatest closers in the history of Korean baseball.
Oh is a 5 ft 10 in, 205 lb right-handed pitcher. As a reliever, Oh throws a 92-94 four-seam fastball (tops out at 97 mph) and a slider as his primary pitches. His signature pitch is his four-seam fastball which, due to its hard rising movement has earned its nickname "stone fastball" in KBO.
Oh attended Kyunggi High School in Seoul, South Korea. He had been a pitcher since he began baseball, but he switched to the outfield after getting serious arm injuries in 1999. He joined the 2001 KBO draft at the end of his last high school season, but, despite intriguing some MLB scouts, went undrafted, and Oh elected to attend college instead.
In 2003, he came back to the mound, pitching limited innings as a relief pitcher.
In 2004, his senior year at Dankook University, Oh came back - stronger, dominant, in total command and as consistent as ever, sweeping most of the Korean college pitching awards. In June, Oh made his first appearance for the South Korea national baseball team at the 2004 World University Baseball Championship held in Tainan, Taiwan. He led his team to the bronze medal, playing most of the games in closer duty.
Notable international careers
|2004||Chinese Taipei||World University Baseball Championship|
Samsung Lions (2005-2013)
Oh was selected by the Samsung Lions in the 2nd round (5th pick, 12th overall) of the 2005 KBO First Year Players Draft. Signed by the Samsung Lions, Oh had a strong rookie season as the Lions setup man and closer in 2005, going 10-1 with a 1.18 ERA, 16 saves (6th in the league) and 115 strikeouts (5th in the league) in 99 innings pitched in 61 games. In the 2005 KBO Korean Series, Oh pitched seven scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts, appearing in three games as a closer to lead his team to the champion, and he was finally named the Korean Series MVP. After the season, Oh was also named KBO Rookie of the Year.
Oh picked up 40-plus saves in two consecutive seasons (2006 and 2007). He had his second elbow surgery during 2010 season and got back to playoffs in the same year.
Hanshin Tigers (2014)
On November 22, 2013, Oh signed a two-year 990 million yen contract with the Hanshin Tigers, the biggest contract for a Korean baseball player in Japan. Tigers' manager Wada Yutaka suggested offering some Korean-language classes for his players to better communicate with their new teammate, especially the catchers and pitching coaches.
All throughout the 2014 season, he played the role as the Tiger's top closer. On the September 24 match with the Baystars, Oh picked up his 36th save of the season and broke the NPB record for saves by a foreign pitcher in his first year in the NPB. Eddie Gaillard (2000) and Dennis Sarfate (2011) each saved thirty-five games in a season. He also now holds the record for the most saves by a Korean pitcher in their first year in Japan, beating the previous record set by Lim Chang-yong, who had 33 saves in 2008 when he started playing for the Swallows. He notched a total of 39 saves for the season, breaking the NPB record for saves by a Korean pitcher in a single season set by Sun Dong-yeol (38 saves) with Chunichi in 1997. Oh had 277 saves from 2005 to 2013 in Korea, and is now at his 316th, making him the second Korean player to break the 300 mark after Lim Chang-yong.
Oh played an instrumental role in Hanshin’s advance to the 2014 Japan Series in October. After pitching 4 innings in two games against Hiroshima during the first stage, Oh took the mound in all four games against Yomiuri and successfully secured consecutive victories for his team. Including the last five regular-season games, he pitched in 11 consecutive games and recorded the save in all of them. When the Tigers finally won the series in October 18, Oh received the Climax Series MVP award, becoming the first Korean pitcher to do so in his first year in NPB. His fast and heavy balls, together with his calm and unwavering expression even in crisis situations, earned him a new nickname "Stone Guardian" from Japanese baseball fans.
Notable international careers
|2006||United States||World Baseball Classic||0-0, 1 SV, 0.00 ERA (4 G, 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 K)|
|2006||Qatar||Asian Games||0-1, 0 SV, 7.71 ERA (2 G, 2.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 K)|
|2007||Chinese Taipei||Asian Baseball Championship|
|2008||China||Olympic Games||0-0, 1 SV, 0.00 ERA (2 G, 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 K)|
|2009||United States||World Baseball Classic||0-1, 0 SV, 18.00 ERA (2 G, 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 K)|
- "Oh Seung-hwan Sworn in as Hanshin Tigers Player". The Chosun Ilbo. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Hanshin Players Told to Learn Korean to Help Oh Seung-hwan Assimilate". The Chosun Ilbo. 2 December 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "September 24 Baseball News". Sanspo.com. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "阪神 終盤に勝ち越す！８回一挙４得点！岩崎５勝目！". Sponichi. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Oh Seung-hwan Sets Rookie Save Record for Korean Pitcher in Japan". The Chosun Ilbo. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "September 28 Baseball News". Sanspo.com. 28 September 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "Oh Seung-hwan Makes 300th Save". The Chosun Ilbo. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Korean Relief Pitcher Heats Up Japanese Pro Baseball". The Dong-A Ilbo. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- "Yuri confirmed dating baseball player". KpopHerald. April 20, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.