Brad Edwards, the university’s athletic director, said in the statement that Mr. Baek “embodied everything you would want from a student-athlete.”
“He was an excellent student, dedicated teammate and friend to so many,” he continued.
Officially called an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, the Tommy John surgery repairs a ligament that helps secure a person’s elbow joint and that can be torn during sports that involve throwing, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The procedure, which is informally named after the first major-league pitcher to undergo it, leaves players with a crescent-shaped scar inside the elbow.
According to Dr. Sandro Galea, dean of the Boston University School of Public Health, the procedure is “relatively routine for baseball players.”
“His death is tragic,” Dr. Galea said. “It is hard to say what happened and it will require an autopsy to determine the cause here. All surgeries, even relatively minor and routine ones, carry some risk.”
Mr. Baek was born on Jan. 31, 2001, in Seoul to Seong Han Baek and En Young Lee, according to the funeral home.