The father of visiting New York Yankees player Robinson Cano is a household name in Taiwan, although not just because of his baseball skills. Years ago, he was given a special nickname, that of a local brand of instant noodles.
Jose Cano was nicknamed “A-Q” by the owner of the Uni--President Lions, a team he played for from 1992 to 1994.
At the time, Uni-President Enterprises launched a brand of instant noodles called “A-Q,” which Jose Cano endorsed.
The brand has since become popular in Taiwan and Jose Cano has become one of the most memorable foreign members of Taiwanese baseball teams.
“A-Q [Jose Cano] did not reject the idea [of having the product’s name]. Because of this instant noodle product, people [in Taiwan] still remember him from 20 years ago,” said Kuo Chun-nan (郭俊男), a former Uni-President Lions skipper who traveled to the Dominican Republic to sign a team contract with Jose Cano.
At a fan meeting yesterday, the Uni-President Lions taught young fans about that part of its history by having Jose Cano, 49, and his son, Robinson Cano, give out bowls of A-Q instant noodles.
Jose Cano was not the only foreign player on a Chinese Professional Baseball League team to sign a product endorsement deal with Uni-President.
Jose Cano’s compatriots Jose Nunez and Cesar Bernhardt also endorsed Uni-President products, and the same naming strategy was used.
Nunez was given the nickname “Manhan,” another instant noodle brand, and Bernhardt was “Poka,” a potato chip brand.
Jose Cano, who also played for the Wei Chuan Dragons from 1998 to 1999 in Taiwan, said at the event yesterday that returning to Taiwan was like “coming home.”
He and his 29-year-old son, along with several other US Major League Baseball (MLB) players, were in Taiwan for a five-game exhibition series against Taiwan’s national team.
The MLB players were scheduled to leave Taiwan yesterday evening.