Chan Ho Park retires from baseball

Lisa Blumenfeld

Chan Ho Park, the first South Korean-born player in Major League Baseball, has said he is retiring from the game.

Chan Ho Park has the most career Major League wins of any baseball player born in Asia, and he says he is finished with the game, according to Andrew Simon of MLB.com. The 39-year-old spent last season with the Hanwha Eagles of Korean Professional Baseball and informed the club through a letter that he is hanging them up. He will hold a news conference of Friday to make a formal announcement.

Park was the first South Korean to play in the Major Leagues, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994. He spent his first eight seasons with the Dodgers, making the All-Star team in 2001. He signed a free agent deal worth $65 million over five years with the Texas Rangers prior to the 2002 season. Injuries and ineffectiveness soured Park's time in Arlington though, as he pitched to a 5.81 ERA for the Rangers.

He last played in the Major Leagues in 2010 with the Pittsburgh Pirates before heading to Japan for the 2011 season. He returned to his native South Korea to play for the Eagles last season. He retires with a career ERA of 4.36 and 124 victories.

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