Lai-Fa Lee

From BR Bullpen

Lai-Fa Lee (李來發) (known as Raihatsu Lee in Japan)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 176 lb.

Lai-Fa Lee was a longtime manager and coach in Taiwan.

Lee served in Taiwan's military. He represented Taiwan in the 1974 Amateur World Series, 1975 Asian Championship, 1976 Amateur World Series and 1977 Intercontinental Cup. As his homeland had no professional baseball at the time, he took the same path as other players in going to Japan. He spent four years in the Nankai Hawks chain but only two of them in the Pacific League. He was 6 for 33 with two homers and a walk in 1983 and 10 for 41 with two doubles, a homer and five walks in 1983. Overall, he had hit .216/.324/.365 in 25 games as an outfielder in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Lee returned to Taiwan as a coach, though he was only in his 20s. He coached for Taiwan in the 1984 Olympics, 1986 Amateur World Series, 1987 Asian Championship, 1987 Intercontinental Cup, 1988 Baseball World Cup, 1988 Olympics and 1989 Asian Championship. During this period, he also was a coach at Fu Jen Catholic University.

Lee became Taiwan's manager for the 1989 Intercontinental Cup and held that role for the 1990 Baseball World Cup, 1990 Asian Games, 1991 Asian Championship, 1991 Intercontinental Cup and 1992 Olympics, when they won a Silver Medal. He also was coach of his alma mater in 1991.

In 1997, Lee was appointed skipper of the Chinatrust Whales. He was 39-56-1 in 1997, but improved to 54-49-2 in 1998. In 1999, his club was 60-29-2 and made it to the Taiwan Series but fell to the Wei Chuan Dragons. It was the Whales' first trip ever to the Series; they would never take the title. In 2000, the club fell to 41-45-4 followed by 45-45 in 2001, after which Lee was removed from the helm.

Lee was a coach for Taiwan in the 2003 World Port Tournament, 2003 Asian Championship and 2004 Olympics. He would coach the Whales' minor league team in 2004-2005, guide the parent club to a 42-51-7 record in 2006 then return to their minor league team in 2007-2008, after which the team folded in a gambling scandal.

Lee was 281-274-6 as a manager in the CPBL. Through 2009, he ranked third in league history in victories.