Sang Ho Baek, a college pitcher at George Mason University, died after complications due to ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, otherwise known as Tommy John surgery. That’s according to a GoFundMe page created for Baek by one of his teammates.
“After battling through injuries throughout the season, Sang required Tommy John surgery,” the page stated. “He suddenly passed away due to complications with his surgery. As a team, we are all mourning his passing.”
Baek’s father, Seong Han Baek, said that his son went in for the fairly common surgery for baseball pitchers on June 8. Baek died on Saturday, June 12. He had recently completed his freshman year of college.
“Our family is devastated and we want answers to why our healthy son would die so suddenly after routine surgery,” Seong Han Baek said.
“We are devastated by the passing of Sang,” George Mason baseball’s head coach, Bill Brown, said in a statement a day after Baek died. “Sang was an incredible teammate who was loved by everyone associated with Mason baseball. He will be missed and forever cherished in our hearts. Right now, our thoughts are with Sang’s family at this unbearably difficult time.”
“Sang embodied everything you would want from a student-athlete,” George Mason Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Brad Edwards added. “He was an excellent student, dedicated teammate and friend to so many. We are committed to providing support and resources to Sang’s teammates and all those in the Mason family who loved him.”
This season, the freshman appeared in seven games for the George Mason Patriots. He made his collegiate debut on March 12 against UMBC. Before his tragically short college career, Beak helped James M. Bennett High School baseball team win the 2019 3A Maryland State Championship.
Sang Ho Baek was just 20 years old.