Chan Ho Park, who last debuted for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010, has officially retired from Major League Baseball after 17 seasons. Park will leave the game as the winningest Asian pitcher in the history of the league.
The 39-year-old starter turned reliever played for seven different teams over the course of his career including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and the Pirates. It should be noted that the right-hander played for the Dodgers on two separate occasions from 1994-2001 and again in 2008.
Park will retire with a career record of 124-98, a 4.36 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 1,715 strikeouts in 476 appearances, 287 of which were starts. The only career MLB highlight he accomplished besides holding the mark for the most wins by an Asian pitcher is an All-Star selection in 2001. Park played for the Dodgers at the time and posted a 15-11 record with a 3.50 ERA and 218 strikeouts in 234 innings. The strikeouts and innings pitched were both career highs.
Park was a power pitcher early in his career in which he tossed a 95-98 MPH four-seam fastball that he mixed with four other pitches including a two-seam fastball, a slider, a curveball and a changeup. Park was very impressive in his prime in which he posted five consecutive seasons with at least 13 wins when he played for the Dodgers. However, he also had control issues that contributed to his high earned run average. The fact that he played in pitcher friendly Dodger Stadium also saved him plenty of times as he was considered a fly ball-pitcher.
The South Korean born pitcher mixed up his pitches throughout his career, such as when he added a cutter and a sinker while playing for the Phillies. He also improved on his two-seam fastball that became known as one of the best in the business at the time.
Park played in Japan and South Korea that last two years after his time in MLB was complete. Just because he is retiring does not mean he wants to get away from the game of baseball. Park wants to study baseball administration in the United States, which will give him the knowledge to possibly perform a front office job.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.