After 22 years… LG’s three ‘golden gloves’ are on the way

When Park won the Designated Hitter award at the 2017 Baseball Golden Glove Awards while playing for LG, he said, “I’m envious of the KIA players winning and receiving so many awards. I want to win the award with my juniors in the future.”

While Park didn’t fulfill his dream, the “champion” LG players finally smiled together on the Golden Globe stage.

LG took home three golden gloves at the 2023 KBO Golden Glove Awards on Nov. 11 at the COEX Auditorium in Samseong-dong, Seoul. First baseman Austin Dean, shortstop Oh Ji-hwan, and outfielder Hong Chang-ki were honored. It’s the first time in 22 years that LG has had three winners since 2001, when Shin Yun-ho (pitcher), Lee Byung-kyu (outfielder), and Yang Jun-hyuk (designated hitter) were honored. Every year since then, except for 2013, when Lee Byung-kyu and Park Yong-taek shared the honor, LG has either had a lone winner or no one nominated.

This year, after winning the title for the first time since 1994, LG had a record 12 Golden Globe nominations out of a total of 81, finally culminating in three winners.

Korean Series MVP Oh Ji-hwan fought off stiff competition in the shortstop category. After winning the award for the first time in his career last year and becoming the only LG player to do so, Oh took home his second consecutive Golden Glove, beating out Kia’s Park Chan-ho (120 votes) by 34 votes. “This is the best year ever. I finally won the title after 29 years. I think this is the beginning. Next year, I will try to help LG win the overall title and become a dynasty.”

Austin Dean, who won the award for being the first foreigner to win the award, won the first baseman category. Austin received 271 of the 291 total votes cast and was also honored with the highest percentage of the vote (93.1%).

Outfielder Hong Chang-ki won the award for the second time in two years after winning in 2021. He shared the award with Samsung’s Koo Ja-uk and NC’s Park Geon-woo, and received the most votes among outfielders with 258 (88.7%).

NC, which made a splash in fall baseball by finishing fourth in the regular season and making it all the way to the playoffs, also received three awards: Eric Peddie (pitcher), Gun-woo Park (outfielder), and Ah-seop Son (designated hitter).

Yang Yang-ji (Doosan) took a step closer to the all-time record with the award. He won the catcher category for the ninth time in his career, moving into sole possession of second place on the all-time list behind Lee Seung-yeop (10). Yang, a one-time designated hitter in 2021 while playing for NC, won his eighth award as a catcher, passing Kim Dong-soo (seven) to become the most decorated catcher of all time. He also became the oldest catcher to win the award at 36 years, 6 months and 6 days.

Kim Hye-seong of Kiwoom, who won the shortstop award in 2021 and the second baseman award last year, took home the second baseman golden glove again this year.

Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha), the regular-season home run and RBI leader, was named third baseman for the first time in his career. Son Asub, who won the Golden Glove as an outfielder in 2017, was honored as this year’s designated hitter. It is the sixth time in six years that he has been honored.

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