BUSAN, Republic of Korea — Chong Tae Hyon, the greatest sub-marine pitcher in the history of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), announced his retirement on Wednesday, 21 November, after 17 seasons.
Chong played for the SK Wywerns from 2001 to 2011 and was a key contributor to KBO championship teams in 2007, 2008 and 2010. He signed as a free agent with the Lotte Giants before the 2012 season. Weeks before, he had been offered a 2 year US $ 3.1 million and a spot on the 40 man roster by the Baltimore Orioles, but he failed a physical.
His retirement came after an injury plagued 2016 season (only 24 appearances) and a stint in the Minor Leagues in 2017.
Chong Tae Hyon had a brilliant international career, representing Korea in 2000 (the only amateur player on a bronze medal roster) and 2008 Olympics (he induced the game ending double play in the gold medal match against Cuba).
He played for his country in the 2006, 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classics, and helped Korea win the inaugural top-tier WBSC Premier12 in 2015.
“Every game that I played wearing the national flag has been a huge honor,” Chong was quoted by the Yonhap News Agency.
Chong Tae Hyon, who turned 39 on 10 November, will remain in baseball: “I’ve never once thought about doing anything not related to baseball. I’d like to become a coach and stay connected to baseball and to fans that way.”
2008 Olympic Gold Medal Replay
Watch the full 2008 Olympic Games baseball gold medal game between Korea and Cuba on WBSC’s section on the Olympic Channel: