Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Chen Chin-feng is feted in Sinjhuang

TRAILBLAZER:The ‘Big Cannon’ was the first Taiwanese ballplayer to appear in the major leagues in the US when he debuted for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 14, 2002

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Chen Chin-feng, front, waves to the crowd after the CPBL All-Star Game at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City on Saturday. Chen’s Red Team beat the White Team 8-6 in the mid-season showdown.

Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times

Fans and fellow players paid tribute to baseball veteran Chen Chin-feng at the CPBL All-Star Weekend, where he led the Red Team to a 8-6 win over the White Team on Saturday night, with the crowd in the ballpark chanting Chen’s name in unison when he came out to bat.

For spectators and officials at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City, the All-Star Game turned into a testimonial for Chen, the first Taiwanese to play in the major leagues when he made his debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 14, 2002.

Chen, known as the “Big Cannon” for his power and clutch homers at international tournaments, struggled to remain in the Dodgers lineup and he returned to Taiwan to join the La New Bears in 2006.

After 11 season in the CPBL, the latest with the Lamigo Monkeys, Chen announced that he would retire at the end of this year and that it would be his final All-Star Weekend.

Down by two runs in the seventh inning, Chen’s Red Team rallied to grab the victory.

First baseman Kao Kuo-ching of the Uni-President Lions ripped a double to the outfield wall to drive in two runs during the rally.

For his clutch hit which brought in the eventual winning run, Kao was selected as Most Valuable Player, but nearly all the fans had come to witness Chen’s final All-Star appearance and they rose from their seats, giving him a standing ovation and chanting his name each time he came out to bat.

“I am happy to put in my best effort for today’s work assignment, then tomorrow and in the coming days we have more games to play. Yes, this was my last All-Star Game, but I do not want to dwell too much on that, but rather we should all be happy and enjoy the experience,” Chen said.

He thanked the fans for their support over the past decade and reminded them that he still has the second half of the season to finish before he retires.

He promised to try his best to hit more homers and to try for another run at the title.

Players on both sides combined for five home runs in the All-Star Game, which was the second-biggest number in history.

The record was eight round-trippers in 1994.

In the Legends Game yesterday afternoon, CPBL veteran Chen Kai-fa led the Red Team to a 1-0 victory over the White Team.

The former Mercury Tigers and La New Bears slugger slapped a shot into the outfield, then charged toward second base for a double, but had to slow down midway because he pulled a muscle in his right leg.

Medical staff came on to treat the injury and Chen Kai-fa was replaced by a pinch-runner, who later scored the lone run of the contest on a wild pitch.

The game, which showcased supporters’ favorites from yesteryear, was shortened to just three innings, due to the afternoon heat and the ages of the participants.

All of the participants in the Legends Game, mostly in their 40s and 50s, are now working as coaches or managers at CPBL clubs or at schools.

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