South Korean submariner Byung-Hyun Kim announced his retirement from professional baseball in an interview with Lee Jae-kook of SPOTV Sports Time, covered here by Naver Sports. Kim played in Australia last season at the age of 39 after stints in the MLB, Korea and Japan.
Kim is unfortunately best known for blowing saves in back-to-back games against the Yankees during the 2001 World Series. He surrendered crushing home runs to Derek Jeter and Scott Brosius in games four and five, marring an otherwise breakout season for the electric 22-year-old. Kim’s quick delivery, submarine arm slot and sweeping breaking ball made him an engaging character on the Diamondbacks’ lone championship team, for whom he was tremendous up until the World Series. Two games after Kim’s second blown save, Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera would do him a solid and prove that a blown save can happen to anyone, as the Diamondbacks game back in the bottom of the ninth against Rivera to win their first and only World Series. That season Kim saved 19 games with a 2.94 ERA over 98 innings while recording 10.4 K/9.
Kim bounced back from the rough showing in the World Series with a career year in 2002, earning 36 saves with 2.04 ERA in 84 innings. The Diamondbacks version of Kim would have fit nicely in today’s game as a high-usage multi-inning reliever, though it was a short run of success. He was traded to the Red Sox in May of 2003, where his career eventually unraveled, though he did turn in a strong 79 1/3 innings of 3.18 ERA baseball for Boston that season, including five starts. Kim also played for the Rockies and Marlins, last appearing in the major leagues for Florida in 2007.
Kim returned to Arizona for the 20th Anniversary and took part in the festivities. His strongest major league seasons were without a doubt his early years in Arizona, where he recorded 70 of his 86 career saves. For his career, Kim finished with a 54-6o record with a 4.42 ERA in 394 appearances, 87 of which were starts. Kim is fourth on the Diamondbacks all-time saves list.