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Tigers’ Yoon Suk-min wins MVP award

Yoon Suk-min of Kia Tigers was named MVP award by the Korea Baseball Organization. Yoon received 62 of the 91 votes cast by baseball writers to beat out Samsung Lions closer Oh Seung-hwan, who had 19 votes.

Lions slugger Choi Hyung-woo, expected to be one of the favorites to win the title, received only eight votes while 2010 MVP Lee Dae-ho of Lotte Giants garnered two.

Oh, who had a remarkable .63 ERA with 47 saves this season, had announced earlier that he would give up the MVP award in order to help his teammate Choi win the title. But things turned out against his wish and helped Yoon garner the majority votes.

The 25-year-old Yoon had a 17-5 record with 2.45 ERA over 172 1/3 innings, helping the team advance to the post season. He led in wins, ERA, strikeouts (178) and also winning rate (.773) in the KBO league.

Yoon is also the first Tigers’ hurler in 21 years to claim the trophy since Sun Dong-ryul, one of the all time great pitchers, who is now the manager of the team, won it in 1990.

Speaking at the award ceremony at the COEX Inter-Continental Hotel on Monday, Yoon got emotional and nearly cried when he said that he had a difficult time last season.

“I had a hard time, nearly gave up baseball. But this season I had my best season and I’m so happy I got this award.”

Yoon added that he was looking forward to working with the newly appointed manager Sun.

“I’m excited to work with him. I hope I will learn a lot from him, and be better next year,” he added.

Meanwhile on Monday, Samsung Lions outfielder Bae Young-sub received the Rookie of the Year award by collecting 65 votes to beat out LG Twins pitcher Lim Chan-kyu.

He batted .294 in 99 games with 100 hits and 51 RBIs to help the team win the KBO league title this season. He hit the winning two-run single in the team’s 2-1 win against the SK Wyverns in the Game 2 of the Korean Series. 

By Oh Kyu-wook