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Veteran pitcher not about to throw it in

BASEBALL: At the ripe old age of 44, Sydney Blue Sox closing pitcher Dae-Sung Koo is still taking the ABL by storm.

The former Major Leaguer with the New York Mets is leading the league with nine saves, including two in last round's 2-all series draw against Brisbane.

His story is one of remarkable persistence.

Koo, whose children are studying in Australia, played his solitary season in the Major League in 2005 at 35, after 12 years at the top level in South Korea and Japan. And he wants to play beyond this season in the ABL.

"I still want to pitch the best I can. I'm thinking of trying to go on for another two to three years," he told APN.

"I will try as hard as I can to help us win the title."

Koo (pictured) stands at more than 183cm and has an intimidating physique for opposing batters.

But that's not the entire reason behind what has been a remarkably successful, and long, career.

"You need to have a lot of stamina," he said.

His list of achievements includes winning the MVP of the Korean Baseball Organisation in 1996, and a Korean Series championship in 1999, while at the Hanwha Eagles.

"You need to keep running if you want to pitch for a long period of time," added Koo, before saying his pitching of a complete game in South Korea's bronze-medal triumph over Japan at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 also ranked highly.

Making Koo's resume all the more impressive is the fact he was born right-handed, but broke his arm so badly as child he was forced to become a lefty.

David Sutherland, one of Brisbane's heroes in Friday night's thrilling 5-4 extra-inning win over the Blue Sox, said Koo was still a difficult pitcher to combat.

"It's tough because he's got all the deceptions, and the ball comes from an angle behind his eyes - he can put the ball wherever he wants," Sutherland said.


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