June 03, 2015 10:20
Veteran slugger Lee Seung-yeop of the Samsung Lions is just one homer away from the unprecedented milestone of 400 career homers in the history of the Korean Baseball Organization. How much will his 400th homerun ball be worth?
Samsung Lions Manager Ryu Joong-il said Tuesday he personally thinks it should be at least W1 billion (US$1=W1,114).
Every time Lee sets a new homerun record, there is much speculation over how much the ball would be worth. When he became the youngest person in the world ever to hit a 300th career homer in 2003 at the age of 26, the ball was sold to a businessman for W120 million.
The same year, he hit his 56th homerun of the season, the highest number of homeruns in a single season in a professional baseball league across Asia. A staffer of a subcontractor of Samsung grabbed the ball and delivered it to the team, and he was given a large ball made of 2.1 kg of gold. That amount of gold is worth W89.24 million in terms of present value.
Given inflation over the last 12 years, it is likely that the bidding for Lee's 400th homerun ball would start at well over W100 million. The value of the ball is expected to go even higher after his retirement.
Samsung plans to give a Galaxy S6, two tickets to the team's spring training, and a bat with Lee's autograph to whoever grabs the historic ball and returns it to the team.
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