The Lamigo Monkeys’ Lin “Big Brother” Chih-sheng won the Home Run Derby at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium yesterday, hammering five shots over the outfield boundary in the final round, two better than teammate Chen Chun-shou.
In the other Home Run Derby competition, two US Major League Baseball legends went head-to-head, with Ivan “I-Rod” Rodriguez prevailing after hitting five home runs compared with Jason Giambi’s four.
“Since my retirement, I haven’t swung a bat in some time. It takes a good swing to hit it out, and I am now a bit tired,” Giambi said about his efforts for the night.
In another setting with media, Giambi thanked the Taiwanese public, saying: “You have so many passionate fans here, and they love their baseball. It has been a wonderful experience. Thank you all for treating me like a family member. I will definitely come back to Taiwan again.”
Rodriguez shared Giambi’s sentiment, saying that he would like to return to Taiwan.
“I really enjoyed my stay and had a great time here in Taiwan,” Rodriguez said. “I see people love baseball here. As long as the game is being played, we can expect to see more Taiwanese players in the US major leagues.”
Before the Home Run Derby, the two former MLB stars signed autographs for fans and then headed over to a section near third base reserved for charity organizations, where they also autographed baseballs for groups of physically and mentally disabled children.
Earlier yesterday, the starting lineup for the CPBL All-Star Legend Star Game featured current and retired local baseball superstars, with most of the retirees active during CPBL’s first decade after its founding in 1989.
For the shortened three-inning contest, Lin “Old Monster” Chung-chiou, of the now-defunct Mercuries Tigers, and Lee “Mr Baseball” Chu-ming, of the then-Chinatrust Brother Elephants, led the Legend White Team, which was skippered by the Tigers’ inaugural manager, Lin Shin-chang.
The Legend Red Team was headed by Wei Chuan Dragons pitcher Huang “Golden Arm” Ping-yang and slugger Lo Shi-shin.
Despite only playing three frames, the old-timers piled on the hits and scored a total of 11 runs, with the White Team edging out the Red Team 6-5.
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