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College baseball pitcher died after Tommy John surgery: Teammate

By
Don Jacobson
George Mason University pitcher Sang Ho Baek died due to complications from Tommy John surgery, a teammate says. Photo courtesy George Mason University
George Mason University pitcher Sang Ho Baek died due to complications from Tommy John surgery, a teammate says. Photo courtesy George Mason University

June 19 (UPI) -- A college baseball pitcher who died last week succumbed due to complications from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery, according to a teammate's fundraising appeal.

Sang Ho Baek, 20, of George Mason University, died June 12, the college's athletics department said in a memorial posted the following day.

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The tribute did not mention a cause of death, but a GoFundMe fundraising page created by one of Baek's teammates on Friday revealed he had died to due complications from Tommy John surgery, in which a pitcher's torn ulnar collateral ligament is replaced by a tendon from elsewhere in the body.

"He suddenly passed away due to complications with his surgery," George Mason teammate Scott Morgan wrote. "As a team, we are all mourning his passing. We are asking for donations in order to support Sang's family through this difficult time."

Sang had completed an injury-filled freshman season before undergoing the surgery. He appeared in seven games for the Patriots and made his collegiate debut against the University of Maryland-Baltimore County on March 12.

"After being informed by his family about Sang's passing, we are heartbroken and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends," George Mason Director of Athletics Brad Edwards said last week in an issued statement.

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"Sang embodied everything you would want from a student-athlete. He was an excellent student, dedicated teammate and friend to so many."

A native of Salisbury, Md., Baek played for James M. Bennett High School, where he helped the Clippers win the 2019 3A Maryland State Championship.

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