Sun, Nov 16, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Baseball great has roots in ROC

HUMBLE SUPERSTAR Sadaharu Oh, one of Japan and the world's greatest baseball players, overcame prejudices against him because of his ROC passport to rise to fame

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

"Oh never cared about these things since he understood that it would be like this with his nationality, and it was always Nagashima who cared more about the competition between them," Li said.

Tsai Jung-lang (蔡榮郎), an amateur baseball association board member and an old friend of Oh's, also said that Oh was not the kind of man to care about fame and money. Tsai said that his old friend would not take winning or losing too seriously, and he did not complain or whine about losses.

"Oh is a humble person and he does not act like a star. He once told me that after he retired from professional baseball, he would devote himself to teaching children baseball and helping children who love baseball make their dreams come true," Tsai said.

"Oh is also a very disciplined person. For example, during the training period he would not allow himself to drink. If the training finishes tomorrow and he dines with friends today, he would not take a drink."

Lu Ming-shih (呂明賜), the former Taiwan national team slugger who used to play for the Yomiuri Giants under Oh's tutelage, said that Oh was an amicable man who cared a lot about his players.

"When I was experiencing a low point in my life, he comforted me and told me not to be pressured too much. He even brought me nutritious food at the time," Lu said.

"He is `yasashi' [Japanese word for gentle and caring], and he does not have an attitude like many superstars do."

Lu said that Oh also achieved a high status in Taiwanese baseball circles and Taiwanese baseball players admire and respect him.

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