Baseball league welcomes sixth team
EXPANSION OF KAOHSIUNG:
The TSG Hawks would be the conglomerate’s third team in the country’s three major sports, conglomerate chairman Hsieh Yu-min said.
By Jason Pan / Staff Reporter
Each of Taiwan’s six special municipalities is to have a professional baseball team next year, as the CPBL announced yesterday that a Kaohsiung-based team led by Taiwan Steel Group (TSG) will start playing in the league’s second division. and would join the top flight in 2024. .
“The glorious era of Taiwanese baseball is back,” CPBL commissioner Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said at a ceremony in Taipei to introduce the TSG Hawks.
“This is a historic day… The TSG Hawks are joining our league as a new franchise,” he said, adding that the Hawks would “bring more excitement” by adding a fifth competitor for each of the teams. existing.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
Tsai, who is also vice chairman of the Legislative Yuan, said the league would have six teams for the first time since 2008, fulfilling the dream of many Taiwanese baseball fans.
“TSG Hawks will be based at Chengching Lake Stadium,” he said, adding that they would attract fans in Kaohsiung and Pingtung County.
Senior representatives of the other five teams – Wei Chuan Dragons of Taipei, Fubon Guardians of New Taipei City, Rakuten Monkeys of Taoyuan, CTBC Brothers of Taichung and Uni-President Lions of Tainan – attended the ceremony. welcoming the new team into what Tsai called the “CPBL family”.
TSG chairman Hsieh Yu-min (謝裕民) unveiled the team’s logo, showing a stylized hovering falcon in the shape of the letter T, and the colors of the team’s uniforms, which would be mostly dark green .
Former CPBL public relations executive Toyo Liu (劉東洋) is reportedly the Hawks’ general manager, while Lin Chen-hsien (林振賢), who played for the Mercury Tigers in the 1990s and whose last job as The coach at the time was The New Lamigo Monkeys, would be their interim head coach and team coordinator, Hsieh said.
“Besides referring to TSG, our T logo also represents Taiwan,” Hsieh said, expressing hope that the team will soon compete in international tournaments.
TSG, which recorded a turnover of 70 billion Taiwan dollars (2.37 billion U.S. dollars) last year, has 56 companies and subsidiaries, including 14 units listed on TAIEX.
The conglomerate’s focus areas are metal production, chemicals, telecommunications and online networking, as well as sports and recreational activities, he said.
TSG, which also owns Tainan-based football franchise TSG Steel and basketball team TSG Ghosthawks, would be Taiwan’s sole operator of teams in each of Taiwan’s three major sports, he said.
TSG would budget around NT$200 million for the Hawks each year, he said, adding that the team would start signing players this year to start playing in the CPBL Second Division. next year and join the elite in 2024.
The team’s philosophy would be based on “professionalism, hard work and discipline”, he said.
“We only want players in our team who have good ethical behavior… Players with bad character and bad conduct are not welcome in our team,” Hsieh said.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) addressed the event in a video message, while Kaohsiung Sports Development Bureau Director Hou Tsun-yao (侯尊堯) attended in nobody.
Hou said the new franchise would attract new investment and infrastructure projects to the area near his ballpark, including an extension to the rapid transit line and city-backed urban renewal plans. .
“Around the stadium, we will see new residential building projects and shopping malls,” Hou said. “Watching a baseball game will be an all-day event for the whole family.”
CPBL had six teams in the 2000s, before the Chinatrust Whales folded and the Dmedia T-REX had its franchise right revoked following a game-fixing scandal. The league had four teams for more than a decade, before the return of the Wei Chuan Dragons in 2020.
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