Oh qual­i­fied to be in­ducted to Tai­wan Base­ball Hall of Fame

The China Post - - COMMENTARY -

Aplaque for the lat­est in­ductee to Tai­wan Base­ball Hall of Fame was un­veiled at Xinzhuang Base­ball Sta­dium late last month as part of the cel­e­bra­tions to wel­come the world’s all-time home run king, Sada­haru Oh ( ), to be­come the lat­est mem­ber to the hall.

Oh joined four in­ductees of the de­but Hall of Fame in 2014, namely: Tseng Chi-en ( ), Hung Teng-sheng (

), Hsieh Kuo-cheng ( ) and Yen Hsiao-chang ( to be­come the fifth Tai­wan Base­ball Hall of Famer.

),

They were all rec­og­nized for their ex­cel­lence in play­ing, man­ag­ing and serv­ing the sport of the coun­try. The Tai­wan Base­ball Hall of Fame As­so­ci­a­tion (

), which or­ga­nized the event, said it is still try­ing to in­vite Oh to visit Tai­wan to per­son­ally re­ceive the rare honor.

The China Post be­lieves that Oh’s in­duc­tion to the hall is a well-de­served honor to the base­ball gi­ant who en­joys world­wide fame and he is more than qual­i­fied to be­come a Tai­wan Base­ball Hall of Famer, though he spent most of his life in Ja­pan.

For base­ball fans around the globe, Oh is the name of a base­ball leg­end that you have to know even though you may have never seen him play.

Holder of the world’s all-time home run record, Oh, who is known for his flamingo-like bat­ting stance, has de­voted his whole life to pro­mot­ing the sport of base­ball.

Join­ing the Yomi­uri Gi­ants of Nip­pon Pro­fes­sional Base­ball in 1959, Oh spent his whole ca­reer — 22 sea­sons and 2,831 games — with the same team, be­fore his re­tire­ment in 1980. Oh and an­other ex­plo­sive Gi­ants’ bat­ter, Shi­geo Na­gashima, formed the feared “O-N Can­non.”

Upon his re­tire­ment, he left with a record of 868 home runs, mak­ing him the world’s all-time home run king.

Fol­low­ing re­tire­ment, Oh had served as manager of the Gi­ants, manager of Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, and later the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He also man­aged Ja­pan to victory in the in­au­gu­ral World Base­ball Clas­sic in 2006.

He was in­ducted to the Ja­panese Base­ball Hall of Fame in 1994 and now serves as an hon­orary ad­vi­sor to the Hawks and the club leader of the Meikyikai, or the Ja­panese Golden Play­ers Club.

Oh’s pro­fes­sional ac­com­plish­ments in base­ball are well­known to the world.

How­ever, many peo­ple have very lit­tle knowl­edge of his long-time con­tri­bu­tion to Tai­wan’s base­ball devel­op­ment.

Born to a Chi­nese fa­ther and a Ja­panese mother, Oh, known as Wang Chen-chih in Tai­wan, has a deep con­nec­tion to the coun­try de­spite spend­ing most of his life in Ja­pan. He was born with Repub­lic of China cit­i­zen­ship, which he still holds to­day, hav­ing never be­come a Ja­panese na­tional.

With his gen­uine af­fec­tion for Tai­wan, he has ac­tively en­gaged in pro­mot­ing base­ball in the coun­try over the past 40 years and helped to cul­ti­vate many lo­cal young base­ball tal­ents.

He vis­ited Tai­wan with the Gi­ants for spring train­ing as early as in 1968, a trip that had a tremen­dous im­pact on Tai­wan’s pro­fes­sional base­ball.

He was also the one who made the cer­e­mo­nial first pitch to inaugurate Tai­wan’s Chi­nese Pro­fes­sional Base­ball League (CPBL) in 1990.

Fol­low­ing the dev­as­tat­ing Sept. 21 earth­quake in 1999 that claimed more than 2,400 lives and in­jured an­other 11,300, Oh im­me­di­ately do­nated money to sup­port dis­as­ter re­lief ef­forts and even flew to Tai­wan to of­fer as­sis­tance in per­son.

He is also the first sports­man that was ap­pointed by R.O.C. gov­ern­ment as an Am­bas­sador-at-Large.

On Feb. 5, 2009, Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou con­ferred the Or­der of Bril­liant Star with Grand Cor­don to Oh in recog­ni­tion of his con­tri­bu­tions to the sport of base­ball and to pro­mote friend­ship be­tween Tai­wanese and Ja­panese peo­ple.

We thank Oh for his decades-long con­tri­bu­tions to Tai­wan, not only in the base­ball world, but also in his ca­pac­ity as a cham­pion of friend­ship be­tween Ja­panese and Tai­wanese.

De­vot­ing nearly six decades to the sport, Oh is with­out doubt a life-long base­baller and a more-than-qual­i­fied Tai­wan Base­ball Hall of Famer.

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