Olympian Chin-Feng Chen elected to Taiwan Baseball Hall of Fame

Olympian Chin-Feng Chen elected to Taiwan Baseball Hall of Fame
The Chinese Taipei slugger, the first Major League Baseball player from Taiwan, was inducted into Taiwan's Baseball Hall of Fame, becoming the first former Major Leaguer inductee. Late Commissioner Harvey Tung was also elected under the category of Special Contribution.

TAIPEI, Taiwan | The Taiwan Baseball Hall of Fame announced on Monday, 12 December, that former Los Angeles Dodger and Chinese Taipei hero Chin-Feng Chen has been elected to the Taiwan Baseball Hall of Fame. Chen was elected in his second year of eligibility with 75.92% of the votes and became the first player to be inducted under the category of Professional Era. Chen also became the youngest inductee at the age of 44.

A native of the Southern county of Tainan, Chen started to play baseball in his grade school years. Chen was first selected for the National team to play at the IBA Double-A World Youth Baseball Championship (later U-16 Baseball World Cup) in 1989 to start his international tournament career.

Chen later represented Chinese Taipei in various international tournaments such as the Asian Baseball Championships (1997, 1999, 2003), WBSC Baseball World Cups (1998, 2001), the Bangkok Asian Games in 1998, and the Athens 2004 Olympics. His heroic performance against Japan in the Bronze Medal Game of the WBSC Baseball World Cup 2001 was one of the most iconic moments in Taiwan’s modern baseball history.

Chen signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1999 and made his MLB debut for the Dodgers in 2002, becoming the first Major League player from Taiwan. After returning to Taiwan in 2006, Chen became the franchise player of La New Bears (later Lamigo Monkeys) of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) for another 11 seasons before calling it a career in 2016. During his days with CPBL, Chen also represented Chinese Taipei during the Asian Baseball Championship 2007, Baseball World Cup 2007, Doha Asian Games 2006, and Beijing Summer Olympics 2008.

Chen’s achievement in baseball was universally recognized in his hometown. He received a Special Award at the Sports Elite Awards in 2016 and was named among the Ten Outstanding Young Men in 2017. It marked only the second time the award was presented to a baseball player in over 50 years.

After retiring, Chen served as the hitting coach for Chinese Taipei in the World Baseball Classic 2017. He then served as Deputy General Manager of CPBL's Fubon Guardians before transitioning to be a minor league team manager and club advisor. Most recently, Chen led the Guardians minor league team to its first-ever title in franchise history.

Late CPBL Commissioner and Mercuries Tigers owner Harvey Tung was also elected to the Hall of Fame under the Special Contribution category (77.78% of the votes). Harvey Tung played distinct roles in the history of CPBL in different eras. His commitment to professional baseball completed the four-team structure in the inauguration of the League in 1990. Two years after the Tigers were dissolved, Harvey Tung became the Commissioner to oversee the merger procedure between CPBL and Taiwan Major League in 2003. Harvey Tung even sponsored one of the expansion teams following the merger. He passed away in 2004 while serving in office and was honoured posthumously with the Special Contribution Award at the Sports Elite Awards in 2008.

The Taiwan Baseball Hall of Fame was founded in 2013 and has seen 40 baseball players, coaches, managers, and executives elected to the Hall. The Hall of Fame and Museum currently is located at Lungtan, Taoyuan City in northern Taiwan.