George Mason University baseball player Sang Ho Baek died unexpectedly June 12 after having surgery on his arm.
The university posted an In Memoriam for the 20-year-old pitcher on June 13. A GoFundMe page organized by George Mason players “to support Sang’s family during this difficult time” noted that “After battling through injuries throughout this season, Sang required Tommy John surgery. He suddenly passed away due to complications with his surgery.”
A common procedure for pitchers, Tommy John surgery requires using a tendon from elsewhere in the body to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow.
Baek was born in Seoul, Korea and resided in Salisbury, Md. He pitched in seven games as a freshman when the Patriots went 14-29 in 2021.
"We are devastated by the passing of Sang," George Mason baseball head coach Bill Brown said. "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."
"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. "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."