The average annual salary of South Korean professional baseball players has surpassed the 100 million won mark in 2014 for the first time in history, the baseball governing body said Wednesday.
According to the report released by the Korea Baseball Organization, a total of 477 South Korean players, excluding rookies and foreign players, will receive a record high of 106.4 million won ($99,198) on average for the 2014 season, up 11.8 percent from the previous record of 95.17 million won last year.
It is the first time for the average salary of players to exceed the mark in the pro league, which kicked off in 1982.
The number of players with salaries of 100 million won or more also reached an all-time high of 136 athletes, or 28.5 percent of the total, the KBO said.
The average annual payment of the pro players has been on a steady rise over the past several years from 84.17 million won in 2010, 87.04 million won in 2011, and to 94.41 million won in 2012, according to the report.
Compared with the KBO's first year of 1982, the annual salary soared more than 7.7 times.
The Samsung Lions, which claimed the Korean Series crown in 2013 for the third consecutive year, will pay an average of 145 million won to their players this year, the most among the KBO's 10 clubs.
In terms of pay hikes, the Hanwha Eagles topped the list as they have decided to pay their players 101.56 million won on average this year, up 34.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data.
First baseman Kim Tae-kyun of the Hanwha Eagles will earn 1.5 billion won this year, the highest in the KBO, followed by Kang Min-ho of the Lotte Giants with 1 billion won.
Meanwhile, the average age of the registered players came to 27.2 years, with an average height of 182.8 centimeters and weight of 86 kilograms, according to the KBO report. (Yonhap News)