Rakuten Monkeys

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Rakuten Monkeys
Information
LeagueChinese Professional Baseball League
BallparkTaoyuan International Baseball Stadium
Year founded2003; 17 years ago (2003)
Taiwan Series championships(7)
Former name(s)
  • First Financial Holdings Agan (2003)
  • La New Bears (2004–2010)
  • Lamigo Monkeys (2011–2019)
ColorsWhite and red
Playoff berths(10)
OwnershipRakuten
ManagerTseng Hao-chu
General ManagerJustin Liu

The Rakuten Monkeys (Chinese: 樂天桃猿; pinyin: Lètiān Táoyúan), formerly First Financial Holdings Agan (第一金控金剛, abbreviated 第一金剛), La New Bears (La New熊) and then the Lamigo Monkeys (Lamigo桃猿), are a professional baseball team in the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan. Owned and administered by the Kaohsiung-based shoe-producing La New Corporation and then the Japan-based electronic commerce and online retailing company Rakuten, the Bears qualified for the playoffs in 2006 for the first time in team history, and by finishing with the best record for the whole season, gained an automatic berth in the Taiwan Series.

The team played their home games at Chengcing Lake Baseball Field in Kaohsiung County (now part of Kaohsiung City) from 2004 to 2010. In the 2011 season, their home stadium was moved to Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium. Accordingly, the team's name was changed to the Lamigo Monkeys, and the current owner Rakuten maintains the "Monkeys" name.

History[edit]

First Financial Holdings Agan[edit]

First known as the First Securities Agan, the team was owned by the First Financial Holding Corporation, a government-funded financial holding service institute. Its then-chairman Chen Chien-lung was a keen political supporter of President Chen Shui-bian, and, upon the president's request, immediately agreed to take over one of the two former TML teams after TML was merged into CPBL in January 2003. Since Macoto Bank had already decided to take-over the Macoto Gida, Chen Chien-lung took over the Agan as promised. The majority of Agan's player came from Taipei Gida and Kaohsiung-Pingtung Fala, and not from the Taichung Agan, which carried the same mascot and were the champions of the final season of TML. Agan played its home games at Chengcing Lake Baseball Field.

After Chen Chien-lung's sudden resignation due to allegation of insider trading in August 2003, the First Financial Holding Corporation no longer showed willingness in running the team. The Agan finished the 2003 season placing fifth overall, and did not win any of the 20 games against Brother Elephants, the Taiwan Series champions of that season.

La New Bears[edit]

Just before the 2004 season, Kaohsiung County Magistrate Yang Chiu-hsing invited the La New Corporation, a footwear manufacturer to sponsor the then-vacant Chengcing Lake Baseball Field, which was under the management of Kaohsiung County after the disbandment of Taiwan Major League. La New Corporation eventually agreed and, in addition, offered to buy the First Financial Holdings Agan, whose management had been struggling in the past season. On December 16, 2003, La New completed the process with First Financial Holdings and renamed the team La New Bears. In the first two years of their existence, the Bears did not perform well. But after several additions to the roster through drafts and the minor league, the Bears turned the team around, eventually winning the 2006 Taiwan Series title.

Lamigo Monkeys[edit]

Lamigo Monkeys' logo in 2017.

After several years of futile effort to manage the Kaohsiung market, the team relocated to Taoyuan County (now Taoyuan City) and changed its name to Lamigo Monkeys in January 2011. Lamigo is a subsidiary of La New Corporation that operates a wellness center, restaurants as well as a travel agency in northern Taiwan. Since Lamigo is based in northern Taiwan, the team was moved to Taoyuan County and play their home games at Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium. Their new name in Chinese, taoyuan (桃猿), is a homophone to their new home county. Despite the name change, La New Corporation retained its direct ownership of the team.[1] In 2012, the Monkeys won their first seasonal title after the name change when they defeated Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions four games to one in Taiwan Series. In July 2019, the organization announced that the team would be sold.[2][3] In September 2019, negotiations with Rakuten to acquire the team closed successfully.[4] With the sale, Rakuten became the first foreign company to own a Chinese Professional Baseball League team.[5] Terms of the sale were not disclosed.[6]

Rakuten Monkeys[edit]

The team name was formally changed to the Rakuten Monkeys on 17 December 2019. New uniforms, similar in design to those of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles were released.[7]

Records[edit]

Qualified for playoffs Taiwan Series Championship Asia Series Championship

Regular seasons[edit]

Season Wins Losses Ties Pct. Place
First Financial Holdings Agan
2003 20 (9/11) 71 (37/34) 9 (4/5) .220 (.196/.244) 5 (6/5)
La New Bears
2004 40 (18/22) 56 (30/26) 4 (2/2) .417 (.375/.458) 6 (6/5)
2005 42 (16/26) 55 (32/23) 3 (2/1) .433 (.333/.531) 6 (6/2)
2006 62 (30/32) 34 (19/15) 4 (1/3) .646 (.612/.681) 1 (1/1)
2007 58 (26/32) 42 (24/18) 0 (0/0) .580 (.520/.640) 2 (3/1)
2008 61 (28/33) 35 (19/16) 4 (3/1) .635 (.596/.673) 2 (2/1)
2009 61 (33/28) 58 (26/32) 1 (1/0) .513 (.559/.467) 2 (2/4)
2010 55 (31/24) 62 (27/35) 3 (2/1) .470 (.534/.407) 3 (2/4)
Lamigo Monkeys
2011 66 (33/33) 52 (26/26) 2 (1/1) .559 (.559/.559) 1 (2/1)
2012 66 (28/38) 52 (30/22) 2 (2/0) .559 (.483/.633) 2 (2/1)
2013 58 (28/30) 60 (32/28) 2 (0/2) .492 (.467/.517) 3 (3/2)
2014 66 (39/27) 51 (19/32) 3 (2/1) .564 (.672/.458) 1 (1/3)
2015 68 (37/31) 52 (23/29) 0 (0/0) .567 (.617/.517) 1 (1/2)
2016 53 (27/26) 64 (31/33) 3 (2/1) .453 (.466/.441) 4 (3/3)
2017 78 (43/35) 41 (16/25) 1 (1/0) .655 (.729/.583) 1 (1/1)
2018 73 (38/35) 47 (22/25) 0 (0/0) .608 (.633/.583) 1 (1/1)
2019 63 (35/28) 55 (24/31) 2 (1/1) .534 (.593/.475) 1 (1/3)
Rakuten Monkeys
2020 0 (0/0) 0 (0/0) 0 (0/0) .000 (.000/.000) 1 (1/1)
Total 990 887 43 .527


Playoffs[edit]

Season First Round Taiwan Series
Opponent Wins Losses Opponent Wins Losses
La New Bears
2006 Seeded first Uni-President Lions 4 0
2007 Seeded first Uni-President Lions 3 4
2008 Brother Elephants 0 3 Eliminated.
Lamigo Monkeys
2011 No first round Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions 1 4
2012 No first round Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions 4 1
2014 No first round Chinatrust Brothers 4 1
2015 No first round Chinatrust Brothers 4 3
2017 No first round Chinatrust Brothers 4 1
2018 No first round Uni-President Lions 4 2
2019 No first round Chinatrust Brothers 4 1
Rakuten Monkeys
Total 32 20

Asia Series[edit]

Year Round Robin Championship Round
Wins Losses Standing Opponent Result
La New Bears
2006 2 1 2 Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 0 – 1 (L)
Lamigo Monkeys
2012 2 0 1 Yomiuri Giants 3 – 6 (L)
Total 4 1 0W – 2L

Roster[edit]

Rakuten Monkeys roster
Active roster Coaches/others

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches

Roster updated on 11 January 2020


List of managers[edit]

Manager # Manager name Years Games Wins Losses Ties Playoffs Championships
1 Ohta Takuji 2004 50 18 30 2
2 Hong I-Chung 2004–2009, 2011–2019 1633 884 717 29 10 6
(Acting) Lu Ming-Tsu 2009 16 11 5 0 0 0
3 Cai Rong-Zong 2010 120 55 63 2
5 Tseng Hao-Ju 2020– 120

Retired number[edit]

  • 10 – The number is reserved for the fans, as the tenth player on the field.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huang, Paul (January 7, 2011). "La New Bears become the Lamigo Monkeys". Taipei Times. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  2. ^ Yen, Joseph (3 July 2019). "Six-time Taiwan pro baseball league champion team up for sale". Central News Agency. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  3. ^ Pan, Jason (4 July 2019). "Lamigo Monkeys being put up for sale after shortfalls". Taipei Times. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  4. ^ Shan, Shelley (19 September 2019). "Taoyuan Lamigo Monkeys sold". Taipei Times. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  5. ^ Yeh, Joseph (19 September 2019). "Rakuten buys Taiwan baseball team, will officially run it next year". Central News Agency. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  6. ^ Shan, Shelley (20 September 2019). "Lamigo Monkeys officials discuss post-sale future". Taipei Times. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  7. ^ Hsieh, Ching-wen; Yeh, Joseph (17 December 2019). "Japanese owners rename Taoyuan baseball team Rakuten Monkeys". Central News Agency. Retrieved 18 December 2019.

External links[edit]