College Baseball Player Dead at 20 After Complications from Tommy John Surgery

A pitcher for the George Mason University Patriots, Sang Ho Baek had just completed his freshman season before he suffered complications from ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction

Baek Sang Ho memorial

Sang Ho Baek, a college baseball pitcher who just completed his freshman season at George Mason University, has died. He was 20.

Baek died Saturday, June 12, after suffering complications from ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, otherwise known as Tommy John surgery, according to GMU's athletic department.

"We are devastated by the passing of Sang," George Mason baseball head coach Bill Brown said in a statement. "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."

Born in Korea, the Salisbury, Maryland, resident previously played for James M. Bennett High School, where he helped the Clippers win the 2019 3A Maryland State Championship. In college, he planned to major in biology.

As a GMU Patriot, he appeared in seven games, making his collegiate debut against UMBC at Spuhler Field on March 12. Baek endured injuries throughout the season before he had to undergo Tommy John surgery, according to a GoFundMe launched by a teammate to support Baek's family through this difficult time.

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"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 Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletic Brad Edwards said. "Sang embodied everything you would want from a student-athlete. 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."

Baek is survived by his parents Seong Han Baek and En Young Lee and his sister Sun Ho Baek, as well as his maternal grandparents, his paternal grandfather, an uncle, five aunts, and twelve cousins in Korea.

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