Tai-Shan Chang

From BR Bullpen

GameStation CPBL SinonBulls TSChang.jpg

Tai-Shan Chang (張泰山)
(Prince of the Forest, Tarzan)

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Tai-Shan Chang is one of the top sluggers in CPBL history; through 2023, he stood as the league's all-time hit leader. Chang has played for the Taiwan national team in numerous events, including the Olympics, Baseball World Cup and World Baseball Classic. He won one MVP award in the CPBL.

Chang represented Taiwan in the 1991 World Youth Championship. debuted in 1996 with the Wei Chuan Dragons, hitting .333/.355/.565 with 72 RBI in 94 games. He set a new record for RBI by a rookie - it stood for 13 years until Yi-Chuan Lin broke it. He won the CPBL Rookie of the Year Award for his fine start. He also became the youngest player to crush multiple homers in a game, did it on October 8. In the 1996 Taiwan Series, Chang hit .261/.320/.304, but the Dragons were beaten by the Uni-President Lions in 6 games.

In 1997, Tai-Shan batted .260/.319/.399 in a sophomore slump. He was still selected into the 1997 CPBL All-Star Game, and he would not miss the event for the remainder of his entire career; he was 0-for-2 though. Chang struggled in the 1997 Taiwan Series, only hit .143/.143/.238 in 6 games. The Dragons still beat the China Times Eagles, and Chang won his first Taiwan Series title. He bounced back in 1998 with a .323/.392/.535 batting line with 78 RBI in 103 games. He fielded .940, a .019 point improvement and continued to improve his walk total from 11 to 26 to 40. He finished fifth in the CPBL in average (.065 behind Jay Kirkpatrick) and was honored on the Best Ten team as the top third baseman in the league. When he homered in game 2 of the 1998 Taiwan Series, he was the youngest player to homer in a Taiwan Series, a mark that stood for 19 years before Cheng-Fei Lin broke it. He recorded a .357/.419/.500 batting line in that series, and the Dragons beat the Sinon Bulls in 7 games. He won Bronze in the 1998 Asian Games.

Chang hit .321/.388/.532 and was 6th in the league in average in 1999 while leading with 70 RBI in 87 games. He attended the 1999 CPBL All-Star Game, and he was 1-for-3 with a RBI single. He again was named to the Best Ten and won his first CPBL Gold Glove as well at third base. In the 1999 Taiwan Series, he hit .300/.333/.300 and the Dragons won over the Chinatrust Whales to win their third consecutive title.

When the Dragons were dissolved after the 1999 season, Chang moved to the Sinon Bulls in 2000. He hit .254/.300/.414 his first year with Sinon yet still made the Best Ten and won a Gold Glove. He played well in the 2000 Taiwan Series, hitting .286/.286/.571 with 2 homers and 5 RBI, but the Bulls weres beaten by the Lions in 7 games. Chang batted .254/.326/.426 for the 2001 Bulls but again was a Best Nine pick and Gold Glove winner at third base. In the 2001 Baseball World Cup, he helped Taiwan win Bronze by hitting .364/.459/.606 and tying for fourth place with two homers. He failed to make the tourney All-Star team as Akihiro Higashide was picked as the best third baseman. In 2002, "The Prince of the Forest" hit .269/.344/.469 for Sinon. He failed to make the Best Ten for the only time between 1998 and 2004.

Chang rebounded very well in 2003, batting .328/.399/.614. He drove in 94 runs in 100 games and cracked 28 homers, setting a league record for a native player (breaking Wen-Bin Chen's mark by two; Chang's mark was later broken). He stole 22 bases in 30 tries for a 20-20 season. He was voted to the best Ten and won the MVP award. He was only the third position player ever to win the award and only the second native-born position player (after Min-Ching Lo) to do so. In the 2003 Taiwan Series, Chang recorded a .316/.458/.737 batting line with 2 homers and 6 RBI, but the Bulls were beaten by the Brother Elephants. He played for Taiwan in the 2003 Asian Championship, helping them win Silver and earn a spot in the 2004 Olympics; he only hit .125 in 3 games.


In 2004, Tai-Shan hit .337/.406/.560 and again drove in 94 in 100 games. He again led the league in homers and RBI, and he became the first player in league history to hit 20 homers in consecutive seasons. Chang finished second in batting average to Chen-Min Peng, but he failed to repeat as MVP (which went to Mike Garcia) though he again won Best Ten honors at third base. He hit .255/.359/.296 in the 2004 Taiwan Series, and he won his first title with the Bulls as they beat the Lions in 7 games. In the 2004 Olympics, Chang only batted .182/.182/.227 as Taiwan's DH.

Chang batted .305/.364/.468 in 2005, but he missed the Best Ten. He was 10th in the CPBL in average (.034 behind Peng) and 6th in hits (15 behind Sen Yang). In the 2005 CPBL All-Star Game, Chang was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, and he crushed a solo home run off Chien-San Kao in the 2nd inning. During the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Tarzan was 2 for 11 with 3 runs and a steal for Taiwan. In 2006, he hit .349/.428/.587 and again won a home run title, with 24. He beat out former minor league slugging star Chin-Feng Chen, who was making his CPBL debut. Chang set several records in this season. On March 18, he got his 1,000th career hit against En-Yu Lin, and became the first CPBL player to reach 1,000 hits, 100 homers and 100 steals in his career. He became the all-time RBI leader by crushing a homer off Wei-Lun Pan, and also passed Luis Iglesias to become the all-time home run leader with a homer against Wei-Ming Chu.

Tarzan was again honored with the Best Ten nod at third base. He was on the Gold Medal-winning Taiwan team in the 2006 Asian Games, and he hit .600/.600/1.000, with a homer against Youhua Guo of China. In the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, he batted .207/.233/.414 with 8 RBI in 8 games as Taiwan's DH in their Bronze Medal win. He hit .318/.362/.507 in 2007. In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, Chang hit well, batting .366/.386/.610 with 7 doubles, 10 runs and 7 RBI in 10 games at third base. He tied Lorenzo Buelna and Chin-Feng Chen for fourth in runs during the round-robin phase, trailing Trent Oeltjen, Brad Harman and Si-hyun Son. Chang was not named to the All-Star team for the event as Mexico's Efren Espinoza was chosen at third base. He hit .182/.250/.273 and had one error in three games in the 2007 Asian Championship. In the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, Chang hit .308/.357/.346 as Taiwan earned a spot in the 2008 Olympics. Chang took over DH duties due to the absence of Chin-Feng Chen to injury.

Chang was on Taiwan's roster for the 2008 Olympics but tested positive for a banned substance (Hydroxyclomiphene) prior to the Games. Chih-Wei Shih replaced Chang in the lineup. The IBAF banned him from further international competitions sponsored by that federation until mid-August 2009. Chang said the substance was in fertility medication he was taking. In the 2008 CPBL, Tai-Shan batted .344/.390/.517. He finished fourth in the league in both average and slugging. He became the first CPBL player to crush 200 career homers, reaching that mark on June 26 against Yu-Wei Hsu. Chih-Wei Chen, Chien-Jung Su and him all hit homers in the 6th inning of the same game, and that is still the team record as of 2023. He was 1-for-3, with a home run against Fu-Te Ni, in the 2008 CPBL All-Star Game.

The next year, he hit .299/.348/.487 with 17 homers. Chang hit for a cycle on September 11, and became the first Bulls player to complete one. He tied Cheng-Min Peng for 4th in the circuit in long balls and was 7th in slugging. On July 22, 2010, he became the first player in CPBL history to reach 1,000 career RBI, facing Chris Mason. He ended up hitting .313/.374/.470 with 16 homers, and won his first Best Nine as a designated hitter. He broke Chung-Yi Huang's hit record on August 22, and he became the CPBL all-time hit leader with 1,583. Chang also broke Min-Ching Lo's CPBL record with his 266th double on September 17. In the 2010 Taiwan Series, he was 1-for-12 and the Bulls was swept by the Elephants.

After the 2010 season, the Bulls traded him to the Uni-President Lions for $2.5 million NT. He was still an elite slugger in 2011, hitting .285/.323/.451 with 14 homers, and won another Best Nine as a third baseman. He broke another of Chung-Yi Huang's CPBL records to become the all-time game played leader with his 1,424 appearances. Chang also set a less desirable CPBL record as he grounded into a double play 29 times in a season. In the 2011 Taiwan Series, he hit .368/.368/.632, with a game-winning grand slam against Ken Ray in Game 5, and he was named the Outstanding Player of the Series as the Lions beat the Lamigo Monkeys in 5 games. That is distinct from the Series MVP, which went to Ching-Ming Wang.

Chang recorded a .333/.380/.527 batting line with 17 homers in 2012, and he led the league in RBI. He ranked 5th in batting (.055 behind Wu-Hsiung Pan), 4th in hits (23 behind Cheng-Wei Chang) and 3rd in homers (7 behind Chih-Sheng Lin). He surpassed Chuan-Chia Wang to became the all-time leader for tsacrifice flies on May 6, and also broke Lien-Hung Chen's CPBL record by his 787th career strikeout on May 1. He crushed a homer off Chia-Wei Lin on July 28, and he became the first player to reach 3,000 total bases in CPBL history. In the 2012 CPBL All-Star Game, Chang was 3-for-5 with a double as the starting DH. He even pitched in the 8th inning, and he notched a hold by retiring Chih-Ping Lin. He only hit .190/.227/.190 in the 2012 Taiwan Series, and the Lions were beaten by the Monkeys in 5 games.

The veteran slugger was still solid in 2013. He hit .289/.329/.417 with 9 homers, and led the league in both doubles and RBI. He became the first CPBL player to score 1,000 runs, reaching the mark on April 24, scoring on Chih-Wei Teng's single against the Monkeys. On August 9, he collected his 2,000th career hit, against Kuo-Hua Lo of the Elephants, and he was the first player to reach this benchmark. Chang recorded a .319/.389/.375 batting line in the 2013 Taiwan Series, and the Lions swept the EDA Rhinos. The 38-year-old veteran only played 57 games with a .280/.340/.406 batting line, and he had a .281/.331/.369 batting line in 47 games in 2015. The Lions released him after the 2015 season. Chang then joined the Tokushima Indigo Socks in 2016 and he hit .236/.293/.356 in Japan's Shikoku Island League plus. He had a .283/.306/.395 batting line with 4 homers with the Adelaide Bite in the 2016-2017 Australian Baseball League, and his professional career ended. He became the batting coach for the Wei Chuan Dragons in 2019.

Overall, Chang hit .307/.363/.493 with 2,134 hits, 289 homers and 1,338 RBI in 20 seasons in the CPBL. He was still the all-time leader for appearances, at-bats, RBI, hits and total bases as of 2023. He ranked 2nd in homers (14 behind Ngayaw Ake), 2nd in runs (15 behind Cheng-Min Peng), 2nd in doubles (16 behind Yi-Chuan Lin), 8th in walks (464 behind Peng) and 10th in steals (137 behind Kan-Lin Huang).

Chang is an uncle of Chung-Shou Yang and Cheng-Wei Chang and is also related to Chih-Yuan Chen, Sen Yang, Chih-Hao Chang and Chien-Fu Yang; there are at least 10 baseball players in Taiwan all from the Amis people and all somehow related.


Related Sites[edit]

  • Eric Chesterton: "CPBL legend Chang Tai-Shan went out in style with a grand slam in his final at-bat", mlb.com, January 27, 2018. [1]