Japanese media have revisited the career of 400-save Samsung Lions closer Seung-hwan Oh, 41, during his time with the Hanshin Tigers.
Oh Seung-hwan recorded four outs to preserve his team’s 5-3 victory over SSG Landers in the season finale of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Thursday.
Leading 4-3 in the top of the eighth inning, Samsung brought up closer Oh Seung-hwan with one out. With the bases loaded and two outs, Oh took the mound to face Choo Shin-soo, who was pinch-hitting. He threw a six-pitch fastball and got Shin-soo Choo to ground out in front of the first baseman.
In the top of the ninth, after Lee Sung-kyu’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth made it a two-run game, Oh Seung-hwan gave up a walk to the first batter, Oh Tae-gon. He then walked Choi Ji-hoon and gave up a single to Han Yoo-seom to put runners on first and second. Oh then got Heredia to fly out to right and Park Sung-hwan to fly out to left.
Seung-hwan Oh reached the 400-save milestone and Samsung snapped a three-game losing streak.
After reaching 100 saves in the fewest games and shortest time in 2007, his third year in the organization, Oh reached 150 and 200 saves in 2009 and 2011. His 200 saves in 334 games was a world record for fewest games played.
His 250, 300, and 350 saves were all firsts in the KBO. No other pitcher has ever surpassed Oh’s record, though he had gaps in the Nippon Professional Baseball League and the American Major League Baseball. In June, he reached the milestone of 500 combined saves in Korea, the United States, and Japan.
A four-time saves champion in 2007 (40 saves), 2008 (39 saves), 2011 (47 saves), and 2012 (37 saves), Oh also conquered the Japanese stage.
In 2014, Oh went 2-4 with a 39-save record and a 1.76 ERA in 64 games for the Hanshin Tigers, earning him the save title. He also set the record for most saves in a debut season by a foreign pitcher in NPB history.
In the Central League Climax Series that year, he pitched six games and 8⅓ innings with two earned runs and four saves to lead his team to the Japan Series. Oh was named the MVP of the Climax Series. In 2015, Oh continued his stellar play, going 2-3 with a 2.73 ERA in 63 games and 41 saves, winning the save title for the second straight season.
After two years in the NPB, Oh donned a St. Louis Cardinals uniform. It wasn’t long, but Baseball Channel looked back at the history of the NPB postseason climax series, which began in 2007, and mentioned Seung-hwan Oh.안전놀이터
“Oh struck out one hard-hitting batter after another with a fastball called the ‘stone fastball,'” the outlet said. He closed out the 2014 season for Hanshin and won the save title with a dominant performance. He was named MVP for his performance in the 2014 Climax Series. In 2015, he won the save title for the second consecutive season with 41 saves and reached the major leagues the following year.”
“This year, he reached 500 saves in his Korean-American career,” he said, adding that he was amazed that he was still playing as an active player.