Park Chan-ho Calls Time on Career After 19 Years

      November 30, 2012 09:16

      Park Chan-ho from his early days with the Los Angeles Dodgers

      Former Major League pitcher Park Chan-ho announced his retirement on Thursday after 19 years in the top baseball leagues in the U.S., Japan and Korea. He became the first Korean to play in the U.S. MLB when he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994 while still a student at Hanyang University. His powerful fastballs clocking 160 km propelled him to stardom.

      His best season came in 2000 with the Dodgers when he registered 18 wins. During his 17 years in the MLB, Park played for the Dodgers, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, New York Mets, New York Yankees, and Pittsburgh Pirates. He has the best win-loss record of any Asian pitcher in the MLB with 124 wins and 98 losses.

      After wrapping up his career in the States, Park played for one season with the Osaka-based Orix Buffaloes in the Nippon Professional Baseball before returning to Korea. This season, he recorded five wins and 10 losses with the Hanwha Eagles in the Korea Baseball Organization league.

      After much deliberation over his future, Park decided to conclude his competitive career. He was scheduled to officially announce the news at a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in central Seoul early Friday.

      Park Chan-ho of the Hanwha Eagles responds to cheering fans in a game against the Nexen Heroes in Daejeon on June 10.
      Clockwise from top left: Park Chan-ho, then playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, bows to the main referee before a match. /AP; Park shows his jersey bearing the number 61 at an official event to announce his joining the MLB club in 1994. /Getty Images; Park poses with his wife during their wedding in Hawaii in 2005. /Yonhap
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