|Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions
|Asia Series titles (0)|
|Taiwan Series titles (7)||1991 •1995 •1996 •2000|
|Playoffs berths (14)||1991 •1993 •1995 •1996|
|Owner(s): Uni-President Corporation|
|Manager: Lu Wen-sheng|
|General Manager: Chen Cheng-nan|
The Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions (traditional Chinese: 統一獅) are a professional baseball team based in Tainan City, Taiwan. The organization is named after the Uni-President Corporation, one of Taiwan's largest conglomerate whose sub-company Uni-President Baseball Team Company oversees operations of the team. The Lions play their home games at Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium located in Tainan City, where they enjoy a large fan base.
The team was first established as amateur Uni-President Baseball Team (traditional Chinese: 統一棒球隊) in 1989 for the purpose of training and preparation for eventual professionalization in the next year. The corporation originally intended to recruit players from Taipower Baseball Team, an amateur baseball team based in nearby Kaohsiung, but faced many difficulties in the process.
Uni-President originally offered Lin Chia-hsiang (traditional Chinese: 林家祥) the position of team manager, hoping that his status as Taipower's head coach would ensure players' willingness to join the new team. Lin accepted at first, and agreed to aid the effort of recruiting players. However, due to uncertainties in a professional career, players were reluctant to leave Taipower for the new team, and Lin could only secure a few players and was far below the 15 players minimum requirement of the amateur league. Lin then turned down the offer, leaving Uni-President searching for a replacement for the manager position. Uni-President eventually contacted Cheng Kuen-chi (traditional Chinese: 鄭昆吉) and offered him the position. Cheng, a former coach of Taipower who was respected by many players, accepted the offer and became the first manager for Uni-President. Cheng then used his connection to convince players to join the team, and Uni-President barely met the minimum requirement after Brother baseball team lent players to Uni-President. The team then participated and performed modestly in two amateur series in 1989.
The team was professionalized on January 1, 1990, following the establishment of CPBL. Uni-President chose Lions as its mascot, and hence the team was renamed Uni-President Lions. The Lions played the opening game of CPBL on March 17, 1990 with Brother Elephants in the now demolished Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium, defeated the Elephants, and scored their first victory in professional baseball. However, the Lions performed poorly in their first professional season, placed third and only saved by Brother Elephants's even poorer performance.
The season of 1991 saw significant improvements in the Lions' performance. The Lions were able to advance into the playoffs and play Wei Chuan Dragons, who they defeated four games to two and won their first title. The next three years saw the dominance of the Elephants, who won three consecutive seasonal titles from 1992 to 1994, and defeated the Lions in the 1993 playoffs. It was during these years that the Lions and Elephants developed a long-lasting rivalry. The Lions again won the titles in 1995 and 1996.
The 1997 season was not a smooth sails as many has expected, the Lions started out losing some prominent players to Taiwan Major League. Also, the game-fixing scandal in mid-season of 1997, known as the Black Eagles scandal, was a major blow to the CPBL in general in that the average attendance dropped significantly, and teams were either forced out of the market or had to scale back on the budget and shut down some expansion projects over the next few years.
Furthermore, at the end of 1997 season, the Lions led the league with 58-7-31, while the Dragons (46-4-46) and the Eagles (41-4-51) were placed third and fourth respectively. However, the regulation dictated that the playoffs should be played by the team that led the league in the first half-season and the team in the second half-season. It was assumed that if a team leads the league in the whole year, it should have placed first in both half-seasons, and thus allowed to participate in the championship series. The loophole became obvious when the Dragons, placed seventh in the first half but first in the second half, and the Eagles, placed first in the first half and seventh in the second half, got a berth in the playoffs. The loophole was fixed in the following year.
The team was officially renamed Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions in 2008. 7-Eleven in Taiwan is franchised by Uni-President Convenient Stores Chain, a subsidiary of Uni-President Corporation; each of the entities now owns roughly half of the stock of the Lions.
The Lions were credited as the first organization to form a minor league team. As early as 1990, when CPBL was still in its early years, the Lions were making preparation for establishment of a second team by hiring coaches and scouting talented players for the project. The reserve team, however, was disbanded due to lack of opponent and players. In 1997, the Lions again formed a reserve team, but it met the same fate as its predecessor due to the game-fixing scandal and the decline in attendance. No further expansion was made until after the CPBL-TML merger took place.
In late 2003, after the merger of the two competing league, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association assisted CPBL in forming a minor league by sending alternative service players to be trained by and filled the roster of member organizations of CPBL. The Lions were supportive of this project initially, but later backed out due to financial reasons. However, in early 2006, the Lions announced the revival of the minor league project, and began the expansion of the team. The roster consists of reserve players, alternative service players, and non-contract players. Alternative service players and non-contract players are restricted to play exclusively on the second team.
The Lions have been working with other organization in Asia and North America to improve the performance of the organization; collaborators includes Yomiuri Giants of NPB's Central League and Red Sox organization of MLB. Also, the Lions have participated in many friendly exhibition games with teams from other professional organizations.
The Lions are the holders of many CPBL records. The most well-known is the winning streak of 17 games, which took place in 2006 season. The Lions are currently holding the records as the team with the most wins, home runs, and Taiwan Series titles throughout its history.
|1990||37 (16/21)||49 (29/20)||4 (0/4)||.430 (.356/.512)||3 (4/2)|
|1991||46 (21/25)||34 (20/14)||10 (4/6)||.575 (.512/.641)||1 (2/1)|
|1992||41 (20/21)||45 (23/22)||4 (2/2)||.477 (.465/.488)||3 (3/2)|
|1993||54 (25/29)||34 (20/14)||2 (0/2)||.614 (.556/.674)||1 (3/1)|
|1994||48 (22/26)||38 (20/18)||4 (3/1)||.558 (.524/.591)||2 (3/2)|
|1995||62 (32/30)||36 (17/19)||2 (1/1)||.633 (.653/.612)||1 (1/1)|
|1996||60 (34/26)||37 (15/22)||4 (1/3)||.619 (.694/.542)||1 (1/3)|
|1997||58 (28/30)||31 (16/15)||7 (4/3)||.652 (.636/.667)||1 (2/2)|
|2000||44 (17/27)||43 (27/16)||3 (1/2)||.506 (.386/.659)||2 (4/1)|
|2001||49 (27/22)||37 (14/23)||4 (4/0)||.570 (.659/.489)||1 (1/3)|
|2002||32 (18/14)||54 (24/30)||4 (3/1)||.372 (.429/.318)||4 (4/4)|
|2003||54 (24/30)||39 (23/16)||7 (3/4)||.581 (.511/.652)||3 (4/2)|
|2004||54 (28/26)||40 (18/22)||6 (4/2)||.574 (.543/.542)||1 (1/3)|
|2005||48 (24/24)||49 (26/23)||3 (0/3)||.495 (.480/.511)||3 (5/3)|
|2006||48 (28/20)||45 (18/27)||7 (4/3)||.516 (.609/.426)||2 (2/5)|
|2007||58 (27/31)||41 (23/18)||1 (0/1)||.586 (.540/.633)||1 (2/2)|
|Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions|
|2008||67 (34/33)||33 (16/17)||0 (0/0)||.670 (.680/.660)||1 (1/2)|
|2009||63 (34/29)||54 (24/30)||3 (2/1)||.538 (.586/.492)||1 (1/2)|
|2010||54 (25/29)||63 (34/29)||3 (1/2)||.462 (.424/.500)||3 (4/2)|