BUSAN (Yonhap News) ― Jang Hyo-jo, the career batting average leader in South Korea’s top baseball league, died Wednesday of liver cancer. He was 55 years old.
Dong-A University Medical Center in Busan said Jang succumbed to cancer early Wednesday, about a month after he was hospitalized.
Jang played 10 seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization, the first six with the Samsung Lions in Daegu. He is the all-time leader with a career batting average of .331.
The left-handed hitting outfielder led the KBO in batting average with .369 in 1983, his rookie year, and went on to win three more batting titles. His career-best of .387 in 1987 is the third-best batting average in a single KBO season.
He also topped the KBO in on-base percentage in six seasons and won five straight Golden Gloves from 1983 to 1987 for defensive excellence.
Jang first learned of his condition in late July, after attending KBO All-Star festivities in Seoul. As the league celebrated its 30th season, Jang was voted by the fans as one of the 10 greatest players in league history.
Jang had been working as the minor league manager for the Lions. He is survived by his wife and a son. The funeral will be held at Dong-A University Medical Center Friday.