This feels like a great time to share the following quote from the movie, Moneyball:
We’re all told at some point in time that we can no longer play the children’s game, we just don’t… don’t know when that’s gonna be. Some of us are told at eighteen, some of us are told at forty, but we’re all told.
Former Mets reliever, Dae-Song Koo, has effectively dodged this issue much longer than anyone would’ve expected. I don’t know how I missed this when it happened, but the 53-year-old has appeared in three games for Geelong-Korea in the Australian Baseball League this season.
Yes, you read that right … as a 53-year-old!
He allowed two runs in 2.1 innings of work, but in what was likely his last appearance as a professional pitcher, Koo worked a perfect inning on 19 pitches, which included two strikeouts. Check it out:
Last night 53-year-old Korean and Australian baseball legend Daesung Koo made an appearance for @Geelong_Korea. He did THIS… pic.twitter.com/6Oe1PfrCYO
— Australian Baseball League (@ABL) January 20, 2023
Just incredible. Those lefty relievers always seem to have terrific longevity, but Koo took things to another level.
The southpaw’s pro baseball career included just one year in the big leagues, which was in 2005 with the Mets, his age-35 campaign. He spent the majority of his time in the KBO, while also playing in the Japan Pacific League for a few years. Koo debuted in 1993 as a 23-year-old, so his pro career has spanned 30 (!) years. That’s some Nolan Ryan-esque longevity.
Koo played in consecutive years between 1993 and 2014-15 before things got a little spotty. He threw one scoreless inning as a 48-year-old in 2018-19 for Geelong-Korea before coming back this season for one last hurrah.
That one year with the Mets wasn’t terrible, as he posted a 3.91 ERA in 23 innings of work. Of course, he’ll never be remembered for what he did on the mound. I mean, how could he after this sequence against Randy Johnson and the Yankees at Shea Stadium:
The reaction from the dugout — especially a mic’d up David Wright — was just priceless. So, Koo just added to his already stellar highlight reel with that perfect inning in the ABL. That’s definitely a way to ride off into the sunset.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.