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LG Twins makes 29-year-long dream come true

With the Twins capturing Korean Series title, internet meme "The Year of T" goes viral

By Lee Si-jin

Published : Nov. 14, 2023 - 13:53

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LG Twins players celebrate winning the Korean Series over the KT Wiz following their 6-2 victory in Game 5 at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Nov. 13, 2023. (Yonhap) LG Twins players celebrate winning the Korean Series over the KT Wiz following their 6-2 victory in Game 5 at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Nov. 13, 2023. (Yonhap)

The LG Twins nabbed the Korean Series trophy for the first time in 29 years, beating KT Wiz 6-2 in Game 5 of the Korean Series on Monday on their home turf at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Songpa-gu, southeastern Seoul.

After getting ahead with a victory in Suwon on Nov. 10 -- putting them at 3 games to 1 in the best of seven series -- the Seoul-based Twins hoped to close the series with a final victory in front of their 23,750 fans at Jamsil.

The game was scoreless for two innings, but then Twins center fielder Park Hae-min gave them a 2-0 lead by sending a double to the right field corner.

After Park stole third base with Twins designated hitter Kim Hyun-soo at the plate, Kim hit a chopper to give his team a 3-0 lead.

Despite being under frequent threat, Twins starter Casey Kelly fared well, allowing his opponent to chase the 3-1 score through his five innings.

Kim once again put the Twins up 5-1 with his single to left field in the fifth. Twins left fielder Moon Sung-ju got a run in the sixth.

LG Twins rookie reliever You Young-chan got a run in the seventh with a wild pitch. But the Wiz couldn’t capitalize further.

Closer Go Woo-suk secured the team’s historic victory with the final three outs.

For 21 years, the 2002 Korean Series’ walk-off home run from the Samsung Lions' Ma Hae-young haunted Twins fans, as it was the last memory of the LG Twins playing in the Korean Series and the team never got a chance to make up for its most heartbreaking defeat in franchise history.

The Twins were uncertain whether they would get another chance as local media and baseball fans mocked the team, calling it “Down Team Down (or DTD).” Meaning that the LG Twins will eventually be at the bottom of the standings at the end of the annual baseball season, it became a meme that circulated on the internet for many years.

On Monday night in Seoul, their demons were exorcised.

It was the first series win for the Twins since the franchise won its second title in 1994; it also won the series in 1990.

“I would like to send my biggest thanks to the Twins fans who have always stayed with us. The fans were our (the players’) greatest motivation. I believe this is just another starting point. We will stay strong for the fans to laugh more and enjoy our baseball in the upcoming seasons,” Twins captain Oh Ji-hwan, the MVP of the Korean Series, said in a press interview at Jamsil Baseball Stadium.

This year’s Korean Series caught many Korean baseball fans' attention, not only because of the 29-year-long dream of the LG Twins, but also for the possibility of bringing a popular internet meme to life.

With the Texas Rangers capturing the first World Series title in the 63-year history of the franchise and the Hanshin Tigers winning the Japan Series championship after years, many speculated a possible LG Twins’ victory over KT Wiz completing “The Year of T.”

“The Year of T” refers to the online meme that baseball teams with the logo, “T,” on their caps are destined to win the annual championship series.

The Texas Rangers celebrate after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 in Game 5 to win the World Series at Chase Field on Nov. 1 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Getty Images) The Texas Rangers celebrate after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 in Game 5 to win the World Series at Chase Field on Nov. 1 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Getty Images)
Members of the Hanshin Tigers baseball team celebrate winning the Nippon Series baseball championship for the first time in 38 years after beating the Orix Buffaloes 7-1 in Game 7 of the best-of-seven series, at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka on November 5, 2023. (AFP) Members of the Hanshin Tigers baseball team celebrate winning the Nippon Series baseball championship for the first time in 38 years after beating the Orix Buffaloes 7-1 in Game 7 of the best-of-seven series, at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka on November 5, 2023. (AFP)

Coincidently, all three teams -- the Hanshin Tigers of Japan, Texas Rangers of the US and LG Twins of South Korea -- share same cap logo and suffered from a long title drought.

Baseball fans could not hide their excitement after the Twins outclassed the Wiz in Game 5 of the Korean Series.

“2023 is certainly the year of ‘T.’ It seems like the desperate ones captured the moment,” an online forum user commented on local internet community FM Korea.

The online meme among baseball fans went viral, leading to reactions from fans of other sports to the Twins' Monday night victory.

“T1 shares the letter T. Does this mean that T1 will win this year’s League of Legends World Championship on Saturday? This will no longer be a mere internet meme after T1 hoists the Summoner’s Cup,” said a commenter on the YouTube video of 2023 Korea Series’ final match, hoping the Korean esports team would win one of the most popular competitive multiplayer video gaming events around the world.

“Tottenham Hotspur has a T as well. It has been a long time since Tottenham won gold,” another comment read.

Tottenham Hotspur last won the Premier League in 1961.