I-Tseng Lin

From BR Bullpen

I-Tseng Lin (林易增)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 159 lb.

I-Tseng Lin was a five-time stolen base leader in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, which did not form until Lin was 30 years old. He was a two-time Olympic performer. He is the father of Keng-Wei Lin.

Amateur Career[edit]

Lin played for Taiwan in the 1983 Intercontinental Cup, 1983 Asian Championship (which he led with two home runs) and 1984 Olympics. In the 1984 Amateur World Series, he hit .273/.324/.364 and stole one base; in 10 games in right field, he had one assist. The team won Silver, its first Medal ever in an Amateur World Series.

Lin played for Taiwan in the 1985 Asian Championship, 1987 Asian Championship and 1988 Olympics. In the 1988 Baseball World Cup, he hit .276/.400/.310 and had two assists and no errors in twelve games in right field. He stole two bases in four tries, when the rest of the team was 20 for 26 on the basepaths. In the Bronze Medal game, he hit 8th and went 0 for 3 with a steal in a win over Japan.

Professional Playing Career[edit]

When the CPBL formed in 1990, the veteran outfielder joined the Wei Chuan Dragons. He hit .331/?/.426 and led the new circuit in hits (116) and steals (34). In 1991, he batted .292/?/.361 and led with 31 swipes. He made the CPBL's first Best Nine team.

Lin was then traded to the Brother Elephants. In 1992, he hit .266/?/.327 and stole 47 bases, leading the circuit. He was named to the Best Nine again. His 47 steals were the league record until 1997, when Bernie Tatis stole 71. He led the 1993 CPBL with 41 steals but only batted .248/?/.316. In 1994, his batting line was .301/?/.354 and he pilfered a league-best 33 bases. Through 2009, no one has topped his five stolen base titles but Kan-Lin Huang did tie him.

In 1995, Lin hit .273/?/.381 for the Elephants with 27 steals, losing the steal title for the first time ever in the CPBL. At age 36 in '96, he batted .248/?/.322 with 18 stolen bases. Lin hit .310/?/.398 in 1997 and stole 24 bases; he had a 31-game hitting streak, longest in CPBL history (Wilton Veras tied him in 2009).

Lin hit .254/?/.310 in '98 and stole 20 bases, his last time to reach that figure. He got his 800th career hit on March 20 and became the first CPBL player to score 500 runs four days later. In 1999, the 39-year-old went 3 for 36 but still managed to steal five bases. The old-timer bounced back the next season, hitting .241/?/.265 with 10 swipes. He ended up in 2001 by going 1 for 3. Overall, he batted .277 with 290 steals in 12 CPBL seasons.

Managerial and coaching career[edit]

While still active as a player in 2001, Lin became the Elephants' manager and guided them to a 43-34-7 finish, winning Manager of the Year honors. He led the team to the Taiwan Series title. In 2002, he piloted them to a 53-33-4 record, again winning the Taiwan Series, and again being named Manager of the Year.

In 2003, Lin guided the Elephants to a third straight Taiwan Series; only Sheng-Ming Hsu had previously managed three consecutive Taiwan Series victors. Lin's club went 63-31-6 and he was Manager of the Year. He coached for the Taiwan national team in the 2003 Asian Championship.

Lin's Elephants posted a 53-43-1 record in 2004 but fell to third place. He coached for Taiwan in the 2004 Olympics. After a 2005 record of 47-49-4, his first sub-.500 finish, Lin became a coach for the Elephants in 2006 before leaving their administration altogether. His teams were 259-190-22 in the regular season for a .577 winning percentage; through 2008, he has the best career winning percentage of any CPBL manager with 200+ wins.

In 2010, Lin admitted being involved in game-fixing in the CPBL.