Wed, Feb 04, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Legend declines offer to assist Taiwanese baseball

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legendary baseball player Sadaharu Oh (王貞治) has turned down an offer to be the chief consultant for Taiwan’s national baseball team, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA) said yesterday.

“Oh-san [Mr Oh] already holds several titles in Japan. He felt that it was inappropriate to hold another one,” CTBA secretary-general Richard Lin (林宗成) said. “Even though we tried to persuade him that his concern was unnecessary, he just reiterated that this was the Japanese way.”

Lin said, however, that Oh has promised he would assist Taiwan’s national baseball team as much as he could “in more substantial terms,” adding that he may propose that the World Children’s Baseball Fair (WCBF), which was co-founded by Oh and former Major League player Hank Aaron, hold its summer baseball camp for young adults in Taiwan.

Oh arrived on Monday at the CTBA’s invitation and had a breakfast meeting with some of the nation’s baseball team managers yesterday.

Oh told a press conference yesterday afternoon that he was the general manager of the Japanese national team when they won the 2006 World Baseball Classic (WBC) Championship.

Before that happened, Oh said he thought their team did not stand a chance of entering the finals and that they were ready to “pack their bags and go home.” The team later beat South Korea and Cuba.

A former Yomiuri Giants player, Oh was known as the world’s record holder in home runs, hitting a total of 868 by the time he retired at age 40. His scarecrow position, where he lifted his right foot before hitting the ball, was recognized as his secret weapon as a batter. His life-time batting average was .301.

Born in Japan, Oh was the son of an overseas Chinese from Zhejian Province, China. Although he has lived in Japan for his entire life, Oh still holds Republic of China (ROC) citizenship and holds an ROC passport.

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