Tue, Jun 20, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Nation’s first MLB pitcher retires over injury

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese pitcher Chin-Hui Tsao who plays for the Long Island Ducks is pictured in New York in an undated photograph.

Photo: screengrab from Facebook

Tsao Chin-hui (曹錦輝), the nation’s first US Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher, yesterday announced his retirement on Facebook, citing a long-running arm injury.

The 36-year-old, who last pitched for the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League, had returned to the league in 2015 following an eight-year hiatus from professional baseball in the US.

“I treasured the journey from 2015 to this year, which had brought me from a minor league 2A team to the Big League and now to an independent league. It allowed me to experience things that I have never encountered in the past. It helped me understand more about baseball and calmly face everything that has happened in my life,” he wrote on his Facebook fan page.

Tsao said he underwent rehabilitation following surgery to remove a bone spur last year with the hope that he could pitch this season, adding that he joined the Long Island Ducks to fight for the people who had been supporting him and his return to the MLB.

“I have fought the best I could ‘till this day and used my arm to its limit. I think that doing the best I could to pursue my goal would be enough for me,” he wrote.

Tsao thanked the Taiwanese elementary and high schools where he learned to play baseball, as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers for giving him the opportunity to return to the MLB.

Tsao was the nation’s second baseball player to make it into MLB.

Tsai was scouted in high school, when he was found to throw a 150kph fastball.

He was drafted to the national baseball team at the age of 18.

He briefly played for Kaoping Fala in the now-dissolved Taiwan Major League before signing a US$2.2 million contract with the Colorado Rockies in 1999.

Tsao’s MLB debut took place on July 25, 2003, when the Rockies played against the Milwaukee Brewers.

He picked up his first victory as a starting pitcher by allowing three runs, five strikeouts and one walk within 6.1 innings.

Despite the promising start, Tsao’s game was often hampered by injuries, which caused him to miss most of the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

He was subsequently released as a free agent by the Dodgers and the Kansas City Royals before returning to Taiwan in 2008 to play for Brothers Baseball Club, who picked him in the first round of the draft.

His return generated a whirlwind in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), drawing many people to baseball stadiums.

Tsao was accused of being involved in a game-fixing scandal at the end of 2009. Although he denied having collaborated with gambling rings to fix the results of baseball games and did not face indictment, prosecutors have found evidence that Tsao had accepted sexual favors. As a result, Tsao was permanently banned by the Brothers and the CPBL.

Tsao sought to find his way back to professional baseball by joining the Australian Baseball League in 2014, but his attempt was thwarted after the league received a letter from CPBL warning it about Tsao.

Tsao the same passed the tests administered by MLB baseball scouts and signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers again.

He was called up to the MLB in June 2015 and was the starting pitcher in the July 10 game against the Brewers, in which he picked up his first win of the season.

He pitched seven games for the Dodgers in 2015 and 2016 before transferring to the Ducks.

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