Monday, January 19, 2015

RIP Yasuaki Taiho

Former Dragons outfielder Ta-Feng Chen, who played under the name Yasuaki Taiho, passed away yesterday at age 51 from leukemia.  Chen was a Taiwanese citizen who attended college in Nagoya and (somehow) made himself eligible for the 1989 NPB draft (held in the fall of 1989) by working for Chunichi.  The Dragons took him in the second round and he played for them from 1989 until 1997, leading the Central League in home runs and RBI in 1994.  He made three All Star teams - 1991, 1994 and 1996 and won a Best 9 Award at first base in 1994.  Following the 1997 season he was traded to Hanshin along with Akihiro Yano for Koichi Sekikawa and Teruyoshi Kuji.  He left the Tigers as a free agent after the 2000 season and returned to the Dragons.  They released him following the 2002 season and he retired when he could find no other team to pick him up.  He did some scouting for Chunichi after he retired and helped sign Wei-Yin Chen.

His brother, Ta-Shun Chen, played for Lotte in 1991 and 1992 under the name of Masahiro Taijun.

1990 Takara Dragons #55

1995 BBM # 5

1996 BBM All Stars #A28

1998 Calbee #088

2001 BBM #297

2003 BBM 1st Version #411

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