By Kang Seung-woo
Kim Eung-ryong, manager of 10 Korean Series champions has been named to take charge of the Hanwha Eagles.
The Daejeon-based club announced Monday that it had signed the 71-year-old to a two-year 900 million won deal that would earn him an annual salary of 300 million won.
Kim, who started his Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) managerial career with the Haitai Tigers ― a forerunner of the Kia Tigers ― in 1983, helped the Gwangju-based club become the most decorated team in the Korean league with nine championships until 2000 and also guided the Samsung Lions to their maiden Korean Series title in 2002 during a four-year stint at the Daegu club.
He also served as the Lions’ president between 2005 and 2010, becoming the first former manager to take such a post in Korean sports history. During that stretch, the Lions topped the league in 2004 and 2005.
The native of South Pyongan Province in North Korea holds a career record of 1,463 wins, 1,125 losses and 65 draws for an overall .565 winning percentage. His combined 22-year career and overall victories are a league record.
With Kim’s appointment, the Eagles have employed their ninth manager since the club’s foundation in 1986.
The 1999 Korean Series champions were bottom of the standings this season to make it three last-place finishes in the last four years. Former boss Han Dae-hwa resigned in August but many believe he was forced out due to the poor performance.
Despite recruiting former Major League pitcher Park Chan-ho and slugging first baseman Kim Tae-kyun from Japan, the Eagles went 53-77-3, 26 1/2 games behind league leaders the Lions.
Kim will hold a press conference on Oct. 15 in Daejeon after meeting his new players.