Former big league pitcher Seo Jae-weong retires

January 28, 2016
Seo had his best years with the New York Mets, going 9-12 with 3.82 ERA in 2003. (Korea Times file)

Seo had his best year with the New York Mets in 2005, going 8-2 with 2.59 ERA. (Korea Times file)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Former major league pitcher Seo Jae-weong announced his retirement Thursday with his South Korean hometown club.

The Kia Tigers in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said Seo, 38, informed the club Thursday that he has thrown his last pitch. Through the club, the right-hander said he wanted to open up more opportunities for younger players.

The Tigers said they would be willing to bring Seo back to their coaching staff if he desired to stay in the game. They added they will schedule a retirement ceremony for the veteran.

Seo signed with the New York Mets as an amateur free agent in 1998, and made his big league debut in 2002. He later pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays over his six-year big league career, compiling a 28-40 record with a 4.60 ERA in 118 appearances, 102 of them starts.

He was best known for his circle change-up.

He then joined the Tigers, based in his hometown of Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul, before the 2008 season. He was 42-48 in 164 appearances with a 4.30 ERA.

In 2012, Seo set a KBO record by tossing 44 consecutive scoreless innings in starts. He tossed four scoreless starts in a row and then back-to-back complete game shutouts.