Taipei Gida

From BR Bullpen

Taipei Gida (台北太陽), also known as Taipei Suns, were a team in the Taiwan Major League. They were based in Taipei City.

Taipei lost a close pennant race to the Chia-nan Luka in their first season of 1997, going 53-43, one loss more than Chia-nan with the same number of wins. In the playoffs, Taipei took Chia-nan to the 7th game before falling. Taipei had 4 of the top 9 in average with batting champ Epy Guerrero Jr. (.361), Yi-Pao Li (.344), Sam Horn (.313, a league-leading 31 homers) and Shi-ming Huang (.303). Brad Strauss (.347) split the season with the Luka. Linc Mikkelsen (17-12, 2.70) was second in the loop in ERA while Ben Weber (7-3, 5 Sv, 2.73) was third.

Tim Ireland managed the Suns into a third-place finish in 1998 at 53-53-2 but they beat the Luka in the playoffs then toppled the favored Kao-ping Fala in the finals. Guerrero (.327) was third in the league in average, Horn homered 15 times in 158 AB and Ping-yang Huang (6-4, 2.64) was fifth in ERA. Taipei had the best record in 1999 (48-33-3) but this time they were the victims of an upset, falling in the finals 4 games to 2 to the Taichung Robomen. The Suns had three of the top five in ERA with #2 Shane Tonkin (7-7, 2.73), #4 Chris Curtis (8-5, 2.95) and #5 Ju-hao Liang (14-7, 3.09).

The Gida won another title in 2000 as they were the only team to post a winning reocrd in the regular season (52-30-2) and swept the Fala in four games in the post-season. They had five of the top 10 in ERA, led by former Japanese star Takehiro Ishii (16-5, Sv, 1.74, the league leader in wins and ERA) and Tonkin (3-7, 15 Sv, 2.31, the league leader in saves). Manny Estrada (.362) won the batting title in the regular season and was the post-season MVP and was one of five Suns in the top 10 in average; Shinji Ando (.333) was third and Hung-tse Tsai (.328) was fifth.

The Gida were 31-27-2 to finish second in 2001 and they lost 4 games to 2 to Taichung in the finals. Kun-han Lin (.368) won the batting championship with Taipei and Liang (8-7, Sv, 2.61) ranked 4th in the TML in ERA. In 2002, Taipei fell to 31-39-2 and third place. Lin (.307) tied for third in the league in average while Gil Martinez hit .347 but did not qualify for the batting title. Liang (8-11, 2.90) was fifth in ERA. The TML merged with the Chinese Professional Baseball League after the year and the Gida ceased to exist.

Sources: 1998-2003 Baseball Almanacs