• Kyodo

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Taiwanese-born slugger Yasuaki Taiho of the Chunichi Dragons announced his retirement Wednesday after spending all 14 years of his professional career in Japan.

Taiho, 38, came to Japan to play for a university team in Nagoya before joining Chunichi in 1989 as its second-round draft pick.

He led the Central League in home runs and RBIs in 1994, helping the Dragons win the league title. After a three-year stint with the Hanshin Tigers from 1998, Taiho was traded back to Chunichi where he spent two more seasons mostly as a backup player.

“I admired Mr. (Sadaharu) Oh so much as a kid that I tried hard to imitate his style,” Taiho said of his flamingo-like batting form that gave him 277 career HRs with a .266 average and 722 RBIs.

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