This year’s Korean Series will be remembered as one that confirmed the dominance of the Daegu Samsung Lions after their gutsy Game 7 victory, 7-3, over the Seoul Doosan Bears Friday. Samsung won its third consecutive title.
Trailing in the series 3-1 earlier in the week, the Lions were considered all but finished, yet three consecutive victories proved that Samsung’s fighting spirit was second to none. The championship trophy, which has been in Daegu since 2011, will thus deservedly stay there for at least one more year.
On Friday evening, Game 7 was tied 2-2 heading into the sixth inning, but the Lions batters, led by Park Seok-min, stepped it up a gear and scored five straight runs to all but seal the title. The Doosan bench looked demoralized after its outfield failed to contain Samsung’s offense.
In contrast, both the Lions and their fans sensed that a third straight championship was imminent, and the atmosphere at Daegu Stadium was one of exhilaration.
Doosan finished fourth in the regular season and can be proud of the fight it put up in the Korean Series. Yet this will be of little consolation for the team, having been so agonizingly close to clinching the title after being up 3-1 in the series.
After the final out, fireworks filled the Daegu sky and Lions players could not contain their emotions, which were no doubt filled with as much relief as excitement after beginning the series as the overwhelming favorites.
A strange combination of ski goggles and champagne spraying as well as a “Usain Bolt-esque” team salute to the heavens were the highlights of the on-field celebrations afterwards. The party was likely to go well into the early hours.