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Unprecedented emergency appearance"

Kia, which has been searching for a new coach amid allegations of manager Kim Jong-kook's resignation due to malpractice, has appointed Lee Bum-ho, its first team batting coach, as its 11th head coach. The team has chosen internal promotion rather than external recruitment for stable management of the team.

Manager Lee Bum-ho, who joined the Hanwha Eagles in 2000 after graduating from Daegu High School, moved to KIA in 2011 through the Softbank Hawks of the Japanese professional baseball in 2010, and played in 2001 games in the first division until 2019, recording 271 hits, 329 homers, 1,127 RBIs and 954 runs.

Notably, he has been strong in chances as he topped the list of grand slamming homeruns (17). After retirement, Lee received training as a coach for the Softbank Hawks and the Philadelphia Phillies, and served as Futures coach in 2021.

The Japanese sports media "Full Count" said on the 13th, "KIA fell into an unprecedented situation as coach Kim Jong-kook was dismissed for alleged breach of trust." "The new coach Lee Bum-ho is a slugger who hit 333 home runs in Korea and Japan, including playing for Softbank in 2010."

"In the 2009 WBC finals, new coach Lee Bum-ho hit a timely hit against Japan's Yu Darvish in the ninth inning with two outs and a runner on the second base," he said. "He played in 48 games as a member of Softbank in 2010, and recorded a batting average of 226 and four homers. He later moved to KIA and played as a player until 2019."

Coach Lee Bum-ho said, "I'm worried that I'll suddenly take the manager's position in a difficult situation, but I'll try to build the team step by step with a heavy responsibility." He added, "I'll be a leader who communicates with the players without any difficulties and creates a stage where they can play their baseball on the ground as much as they want."

"I am well aware of what the club and its fans expect from me. I will raise the team to the top position during my tenure as KIA Tigers manager, not as a novice manager," Lee said.
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Tuesday, February 13, 2024
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