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One of Taiwan's all-time baseball greats changes clubs

2010/12/27 22:03:10

Taipei, Dec. 27 (CNA) In one of the most sensational acquisitionsin Taiwan's professional baseball league history, Sinon Bulls veteranslugger Chang Tai-shan was bought Monday by the Unir-President Lionsfor an NT$2.5 million (US$83,333) fee.

Both the Taichung-based Bulls and the Tainan-based Lions notifiedTaiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League by fax that Chang, theleague's all-time leading home run hitter with 241, would join theLions in 2011.

The club confirmed to the media later in the day that it had paidthe Bulls NT$2.5 million in cash to acquire Chang, who will be makingNT$210,000 per month with the Lions next year, down from theNT$250,000 per month he was making with the Bulls.

In a news release, the Bulls management said the club had hopedthat the 34-year-old Chang would become a coach or player/coach in2011 and beyond, but Chang believed he could still be an everydayplayer.

"The failure in reaching a consensus led the club to try to dealhim," the Bulls management said.

Chang, who also holds the CPBL records for RBIs with 1,030 andhits with 1,622 in a 15-year career, first joined the now defunctWeichuan Dragons in 1996 at the age of 19 and later transferred tothe Sinon Bulls in 1999.

In an exclusive telephone interview with the Central News Agency,Chang said he would try his best to maintain his records afterjoining the Lions.

"I will make records of my own and records for the Uni-PresidentLions as well," a resolute Chang said.

He said he appreciated the Bulls' plans for him to become acoach, but he said he was not yet ready to scale down his playingtime.

On the pay cut he took to play for the Lions, Chang said the newcontract was acceptable because he had yet to contribute to the club.

The move to acquire a player for a fee is not unprecedented inthe CPBL. The Lions acquired left-handed pitcher Hsu Yu-wei from theLa New Bears for NT$3 million in 2009.

(By Posan Hsiao and Deborah Kuo)