Dae-ho Lee

Dae-ho Lee (Korean: 이대호, Hanja: 李大浩; Korean pronunciation: [i.dɛ̝.ɦo]; born June 21, 1982) is a former South Korean professional baseball player who played as a first baseman for the Lotte Giants of the KBO League. Lee had previously played for the Orix Buffaloes and Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), and the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Dae-ho Lee
Lee with the Lotte Giants.
First baseman
Born: (1982-06-21) June 21, 1982
Busan, South Korea
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
Professional debut
KBO: April 11, 2001, for the Lotte Giants
NPB: March 30, 2012, for the Orix Buffaloes
MLB: April 4, 2016, for the Seattle Mariners
Last appearance
NPB: October 29, 2015, for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
MLB: October 3, 2016, for the Seattle Mariners
KBO: October 8, 2022, for the Lotte Giants
KBO statistics
(through 2022 season)
Batting average.309
Home runs374
Runs batted in1,425
NPB statistics
Batting average.293
Home runs98
Runs batted in348
MLB statistics
Batting average.253
Home runs14
Runs batted in49
Career highlights and awards
  • KBO MVP (2010)
  • 6x KBO Golden Glove Award (2006–07, 2010–11, 2017–18)
  • 2x KBO Triple Crown (2006, 2010)


Dae-ho Lee
Revised RomanizationI Dae-ho
McCune–ReischauerRi Tae-ho

Lee bats and throws right-handed. He hit home runs in nine consecutive games for the first time in world baseball history.[1] According to a Gallup Korea's survey conducted in 2011, Lee was chosen as the most popular player in the KBO League.[2]

Amateur career

Lee started baseball because of his childhood friendship with Shin-soo Choo. Lee attended Kyungnam High School in Busan, South Korea. At Kyungnam High School, Lee batted fourth and could throw a mid-90s mph fastball as a pitcher. In 2000, he was selected for the South Korean Junior National Team as a pitcher. The team won the 2000 World Junior Baseball Championship in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Lee led the attack alongside Kim Tae-kyun, Choo Shin-soo (the eventual MVP of this event) and Jeong Keun-woo as a cleanup hitter by racking up 3 home runs. He also finished runner-up behind Joe Mauer of Team USA in batting average (.500).

Notable international careers

Year Venue Competition Team Individual Note
2000  Canada World Junior Baseball Championship .500 BA (15-for-30), 3 HR

Professional career

2001 season

As a rookie, Lee joined the Lotte Giants as a pitcher in 2001. However, following an injury, he was officially changed to a position player for the second half of the 2001 season.

2006 season

In the 2006 season, Lee won the league's Triple Crown with a .336 batting average, 26 home runs, and 88 RBIs. This is the second time a hitter has won the Batting Triple Crown in the Korea Professional Baseball league. He finished second in voting for the 2006 MVP behind the Hanhwa Eagles pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, also the winner of the Triple Crown for pitchers in 2006.

2008 season

In 2008, Lee was a member of the South Korea national baseball team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, while he had an average of .360 (9-for-36), 3 home runs, 10 RBIs, 5 runs, and .760 slugging percentage, playing as the designated hitter.

2010 season

On August 13, 2010, Lee wrote a new chapter in Korean baseball by hitting a home run in eight straight games in the league. The eighth home run was hit at an away match against the Kia Tigers in Gwangju in the top of the seventh inning when he sent former Major Leaguer Aquilino López's fifth pitch over the left fence of Moodeung Stadium. This tied the existing record in world professional baseball shared by Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993, Don Mattingly in 1987 and Dale Long in 1956.[3] On August 14, 2010, Lee set a world record by hitting a home run in his ninth straight game when, in the second inning of Giants' second away match against the Tigers, he blasted a three-run homer off Tigers reliever Kim Hee-girl over the center fence of Moodeung Stadium.[4] It was his 38th home run of the season. With his 83rd run that year, he set a new Korean League record with a run in 16 consecutive games. In the 2010 season, Lee enjoyed one of the most dominant offensive seasons in world professional baseball history, leading the KBO in seven offensive categories (batting average, HRs, RBIs, runs scored, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and hits), which made him a Septuple Crown winner (7관왕).

2011 season

Lee led the KBO League in batting average (.357), hits (176), and on-base percentage (.433). After the season, he declared free agency and sought out a new challenge.

Nippon Professional Baseball

In December 2011, Lee signed a two-year contract worth 760 million yen ($9.78 million) with the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball.[5] During his 4 years in the NPB (2012-2015), he recorded the highest OPS rate during this time.

2012 season

On July 20, 2012, at the Osaka Dome, Lee won the NPB Home-run Derby against Wladimir Balentien of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. He belted 6 home runs while Balentien made no home runs. He was rewarded with 500,000 yen ($6,400). He ended his season with a .286 average, 24 home runs, and 91 RBI.

Seattle Mariners

Lee with the Mariners in 2016

On February 3, 2016, Lee signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball. The Mariners added Lee to the 40-man roster on March 27, 2016.[6]

On April 8, 2016, Lee recorded his first career major league hit, a home run off of Eric Surkamp in a game against the Oakland Athletics.[7][8] On April 13, 2016, Lee hit a pinch hit walk off home run to beat the Texas Rangers. This was the first rookie pinch hit walk off in Mariners history. On May 4, 2016, Lee hit two home runs in a 9–8 victory over the Oakland Athletics.[9]

On June 10, 2016, Lee recorded back-to-back home runs off of Derek Holland, totaling 4 RBI to propel the Mariners to a 7–5 victory over the Texas Rangers.[10]

Lotte Giants

On January 24, 2017, Lee signed a four-year, $12.9 million contract with the Lotte Giants. The contract was the largest for a free agent in KBO history.[11] Lee's 2017 season was a success, as he hit .320 with 34 home runs and 111 RBIs. He was instrumental in helping Lotte return to the postseason for the first time in five years.

In 2018, he hit .333 with 37 home runs and 125 RBIs. However, in 2019, Lee failed to reach 20 home runs for the first time in 10 years, and was sent to the second division due to injuries.[12]

Awards and honors

KBO League[13]
  • 2005 KBO All-Star MVP
  • 2008 KBO All-Star MVP
  • 2006 KBO Golden Glove Award (1B)
  • 2007 KBO Golden Glove Award (1B)
  • 2010 KBO MVP (regular season MVP)
  • 2010 KBO Golden Glove Award (3B)
  • 2011 KBO Golden Glove Award (1B)
  • 2017 KBO Golden Glove Award (1B)
  • 2018 KBO Golden Glove Award (DH)
Nippon Professional Baseball


KBO League
  • 2006 Batting title
  • 2006 Home run title
  • 2006 RBI title
  • 2006 Slugging percentage leader
  • 2006 Triple Crown (BA, HR, RBI title)
  • 2007 Slugging percentage leader
  • 2010 Batting title
  • 2010 Home run title
  • 2010 RBI title
  • 2010 Hits leader
  • 2010 Runs scored leader
  • 2010 Slugging percentage leader
  • 2010 On-base percentage leader
  • 2010 OPS (on-base plus slugging) leader
  • 2010 Triple Crown (BA, HR, RBI title)
  • 2010 Nine consecutive home runs (world record)
  • 2011 Batting title
  • 2011 Hits leader
  • 2011 On-base percentage leader
Nippon Professional Baseball
  • 2012 RBI title

Notable international careers

Year Venue Competition Team Individual Note
2006  Qatar Asian Games .409 BA (9-for-22), 2 HR, 10 RBI, 4 R
2007  Chinese Taipei Asian Baseball Championship .000 BA (0-for-4)
2008  Chinese Taipei Final Olympic Qualification Tournament .393 BA (11-for-28), 8 RBI, 4 R
2008  China Olympic Games .360 BA (9-for-25), 3 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R
2009  United States World Baseball Classic .278 BA (5-for-18), 5 RBI, 1 R
2010  China Asian Games .368 BA (7-for-19), 1 HR


Television shows

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2023 Oh Eun-young Game Judge [14]
2023–present Master in the House Cast Member Episode 239– [15]

See also

  • List of KBO career home run leaders
  • List of KBO career RBI leaders


  1. Lee Dae-ho sets world record with 9 consecutive-game home runs. Korea Times. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  2. (in Korean) 최고 인기선수는 이대호[Usurped!]
  3. Stephens, Bailey (August 14, 2010). "South Korean Dae-ho homers in nine straight". MLB.com.
  4. "S. Korean 'breaks home run world baseball record'". AFP. August 14, 2010.
  5. Joo, Kyung-don. "Lee Dae-ho signs with Orix Buffaloes". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. Condotta, B. (March 27, 2016). "Mariners decide to keep 1B Dae-Ho Lee and pitcher Joel Peralta with Jesus Montero appearing headed off 40-man roster". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  7. "Lee hits first MLB home run". ESPN Seattle. April 8, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  8. "Lee's first career MLB hit a home run". Today's Knuckleball. April 8, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  9. Kim, seung wook (2016-05-05). "Lee hit two times home run in a match".
  10. "Dae-ho-Lee homers twice to power Mariners to win over Rangers". Seattle Times. June 10, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  11. "Former big leaguer Lee Dae-ho rejoins old Korean club". koreatimes.co.kr. January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  12. 입력 2019.08.30 17:12 (2019-08-30). "이대호 2군행...롯데 탈꼴찌보다 리빌딩?". 중앙일보 (in Korean). Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  13. "이대호, 네이버 인물검색 수상경력". 네이버(Naver).
  14. Jang Woo-young (December 19, 2022). "오은영 게임' MC 신동엽·이민정→안재욱·정준호·문희준·이대호·소이현 총출동 [공식]" ['Oh Eun-Young Game' MC Shin Dong-yeop · Lee Min-jeong → Ahn Jae-wook · Jung Jun-ho · Moon Hee-joon · Lee Dae-ho · So Yi-hyun all out [Official]] (in Korean). Osen. Retrieved December 19, 2022 via Naver.
  15. Kang Seon-ae (December 21, 2022). "이대호X뱀뱀, '집사부일체' 시즌2 합류…6인 제자 라인업 완성" [Lee Dae-ho X Bam-Bam joins 'Master in the House' Season 2... Completion of the 6-person disciple lineup] (in Korean). SBS Entertainment News. Retrieved December 21, 2022 via Naver.
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