New York, Aug. 28 (CNA) Retired Taiwanese baseballer Peng Cheng-min (彭政閔) threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Sunday at the New York Mets’ 17th annual Taiwan Heritage Day, making him the first former player from Taiwan’s professional league to do so.
Wearing his iconic No. 23 CTBC Brothers yellow jersey, which was retired with him in October 2019, Peng threw a high pitch to Mets catcher Darin Ruf at the Mets’ Citi Field in New York before the team played the Colorado Rockies.

Peng is known as “Captain Taiwan” for having served as the captain of Taiwan’s national baseball team at several major international tournaments. He is also a renowned batter and was frequently called up to national baseball squads as a player.
The 44-year-old assistant general manager of the CTBC Brothers in Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) is the first CPBL former player to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the annual Mets Taiwan Heritage Day, which is held by the Major League Baseball (MLB) club to celebrate Taiwanese culture.
Peng, better known by his nickname “Chia Chia,” later told reporters that he had never had the chance to make it to the MLB as a player.
“Throwing out the first pitch for the Mets Taiwan Day will be a great memory for me,” he said.
Peng added he was happy to see a lot of fans in the United States cheering for him, “as if I was also competing today representing my country.”
He played on the Chinese Taipei Olympic Team at the 2004 and 2008 Games and was Chinese Taipei’s team captain in the 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classics.
During Peng’s 19-year professional career, he managed to win a CPBL-record five batting titles. He won the award of “Mr. Popularity” for every edition of CPBL All-Star Game from 2005 to 2019.
Peng is also currently the CPBL all-time leader for runs scored (1,089), walks (953), and singles (1,514), with a career 0.333 career batting average and 2,044 hits.
Before throwing the first pitch, a pre-recorded video featuring Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was broadcasted on the stadium’s big screen.

Tsai took the opportunity to thank the U.S. for donating 4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan in 2021 when the country needed vaccines the most during the pandemic.
“Through such generosity, we were able to overcome the pandemic and get back to our beloved baseball games.”
She also introduced Taiwan’s CPBL, which is now in its 33th year, and Peng to fans in the Mets game.
This was the third time that Tsai has appeared at the Mets Taiwan Day via pre-recorded videos.
This year also marked the second year in a row that the Flushing-based team had given away limited-edition Taiwan-themed replica jerseys to fans who bought tickets on the Mets’ official website for the game.
A total of 4,750 Taiwan-themed replica jerseys have been given away this year, according to Mets.
The annual event has been held since 2005 with the support of Taiwan’s representative office in New York to promote Taiwan.
Last year, President Tsai also addressed the Taiwan Day crowd via video, while Hsiao Bi-Khim (蕭美琴), Taiwan’s top representative in the U.S., threw out the first pitch.
Other famous Taiwanese to throw out the first ball at the annual celebration include Oscar award-winning film director Ang Lee (李安), Taiwanese golfer Yani Tseng (曾雅妮), Taiwan’s only Nobel Prize laureate Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), and Taiwanese Youtuber Tsai Aga (蔡阿嘎).
As for the actual MLB game, the Mets ended up losing to the Rockies 1-0.
(By Ozzy Yin and Joseph Yeh)


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