Wed, Oct 10, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Uni-President Lions to honor ‘perfect’ Verdugo

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Uni-President Lions yesterday announced that the baseball club would hold a special event for American pitcher Ryan Verdugo at next week’s opening playoff game after Verdugo made Taiwanese baseball history by pitching a perfect game on Sunday.

Uni-President Lions chairman Su Tai-an said the the team are still celebrating the feat and the club would have “Perfect Game” souvenirs on sale later this week, while a commemoration ceremony would be held in honor of Verdugo on Friday next week when the Lions take on the Fubon Guardians in their playoff series.

INVITATION

“We are making plans to invite Verdugo’s father to come to Taiwan for the ceremony, so he can share this glorious occasion with his son,” Su said.

Verdugo told reporters after the game against the Brothers Baseball Club that he had received a text message from his father sending his congratulations after he had watched the game in the US.

Verdugo said his father was so elated that he cried when the perfect game was confirmed.

“When I start for the Lions, my father always gets up early in the morning to watch my game online,” Verdugo said.

Verdugo in April gave up seven runs in a loss to the Fubon Guardians and his father called him to give him encouragement and some words of advice.

SUPPORT

In the next game, also against the Guardians, Verdugo tossed seven scoreless innings to get the win, which he credited to his father’s support after he told him to stay positive, forget the previous outing and focus on his pitching, and things would turn around.

The lefty from Pasadena, California, has a 8-4 record and 4.31 ERA this season.

He will be best remembered for achieving the first-ever perfect game in the CPBL’s 29-year history, which ended when third baseman Kuo Fu-lin hit a walk-off home run.

Verdugo’s achievement put Taiwanese baseball on the map, with the MLB and Japanese news sites reporting on the historic perfect game.

SOUVENIRS

Fans have posted photographs of their tickets for the game in Tainan online, saying they were so happy to witness history being made and would savor the memory and keep the ticket stub as a memento.

It was the best-ever CPBL game and a priceless memory for everyone who was at the game, Su said.

Many of the players took their jerseys for Verdugo to sign as their own souvenir to commemorate his achievement, he said.

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