Chianan Luka

From BR Bullpen

Chianan Luka (嘉南勇士), offically Chiayi-Tainan Luka and also known as Chianan Braves, were a team in the Taiwan Major League. They were based in the counties of Jiayi and Tainan. The Braves finished first in the league's first year (53-42), a half-game ahead of Taipei Gida and then beat the Gida 4 games to 3 in the finals. Three pitchers were in the top 10 in ERA, led by Yi-hsin Chen (19-11, 3.09), the league MVP and leader in wins. Luis Iglesias (.326, 19 HR , 83 RBI) led the offense, along with Brad Strauss (.347, part of the year with Taipei).

The Luka were 57-48-3 in their second season, finishing second. Iglesias (.311, 25 HR) was 4th in the TML in average while Rod Brewer (.307, 28 HR, 81 RBI) possibly led in circuit clouts and Sil Campusano hit .307 with 17 homers, 29 doubles and 28 steals. The pitching was led by Rob Wishnevski (5-3, 18 Sv, 2.08, also playing for Taipei), Ben Burlingame (16-8, a league-leading 1.99), Kerry Knox (6-4, 2.15, second in ERA) and Carlos Mirabal (12-12, 3.12).

In their third season, Chiayi-Tainan fell to 40-42-2 and a tie for second. Brewer (.364, 23 2B, 19 HR, 71 RBI) was second in the loop in average while Chen (11-14, 3.38) was sevemh in ERA and Japanese import Hisanobu Watanabe (18-7, 2.34) revived his career by winning the pitching Triple Crown and MVP award. The Braves continued to fall in 2000, going 37-45-2 and finishing in third. Watanabe (15-8, 2.47) had another great year and was third in ERA, second in wins and possibly first in strikeouts while Kai-fa Chen (.323) might have led the league in homers (10) and RBI (73).

In 2001, Chianan won their first six games but then lost 47 of their remaining 54 outings (and won only once in their last 26 games). They finished with the worst winning percentage in the history of Taiwanese baseball. Feng-min Chen (.324) was fourth in the league in average and Gavin Fingleson (.369) would have led had he played enough to qualify.

The Braves improved to 29-41-2 and again was last in the TML's final season and Shad Williams (7-4, 2.95) just missed the top five in ERA. The Taiwan Major League merged with the Chinese Professional Baseball League at the end of the year and Chianan finished its existance at the same time.