Rhinos' 'exceptional' Hsu remembered
CNATAIPEI -- Friends and associates of EDA Rhinos manager Hsu Sheng-ming, who died Saturday from a heart attack after an evening jogging, remember him as a capable leader who has overseen the most wins under one manager in Taiwanese baseball history.
August 26, 2013, 11:09 am TWN
Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) President Huang Cheng-tai offered condolences to the family of the renowned manager, praising him for bringing teams to victory a record 715 times over his career.
“Hsu was an exceptional baseball player and manager, and his sudden death is saddening. I have expressed the deepest condolences to his family on behalf of the CPBL,” Huang said in the early morning after visiting Hsu's family at a hospital in Taipei, where the legendary figure was pronounced dead hours earlier.
Hsu's death has come as a shock to EDA Rhinos staff, the team's players and fans, and the baseball world at large.
In a move to pay its respects, the Kaohsiung-based team has announced that it will observe a minute of silence before Sunday's game against the Brother Elephants in New Taipei. Another Sunday game in Kaohsiung will do the same, even though the Rhinos will not be playing there, according to Huang.
Hsu was known as a strict leader who was good at making the best of his team's advantages, said baseball analyst Tseng Wen-chang.
“During a game, he knew what ingredients he had in hand and could always make them into different dishes,” he said.
Tseng recounted that one of the most impressive things about Hsu was his insistence that the future of Taiwanese baseball had to be based on locally sourced talent.
Earlier this year, the Rhinos recruited Dominican-American player Manny Ramirez whose presence on the team helped boost CPBL ticket sales before he left in June. Hsu made repeated comments that local baseball “cannot rely on Manny alone,” saying the sport must instead “return to the fundamentals and find a more far-reaching [model of] development.”
Since the iconic manager passed away Saturday, Rhinos players and fans have flocked to the team's website and Facebook page to leave messages of condolence.
Hsu became Taiwan's youngest-ever professional baseball manager at age 32, when he was coaching the now-disbanded Wei Chuan Dragons.
During his impressive career, he has also led the First Financial Holdings Agan, Chinatrust Wales and Sinon Bulls.
In 2004, he led Chinese Taipei, Taiwan's national baseball team, to the Athens Olympics, despite battling kidney illness. The Taiwan team finished the fifth place.
Hsu's interest in baseball started in his youth, from which time he started playing for Taiwan's national teams as a pitcher.
On Sunday, Hsu's daughter told reporters that she remembers him as someone willing to open up about his feelings.
“We didn't get to spend much time together, so he would often call me to say he misses me and loves me.”
She told reporters that she regrets expressing her love only through text messages rather than telling him directly.