Topic: So Taguchi

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So Taguchi (田口 壮, Taguchi Sō?, born July 2, 1969) is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Chicago Cubs organization. Previously, he has played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies in Major League Baseball, and with the Orix BlueWave in Nippon Professional Baseball.

Taguchi was born and raised in Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan. He graduated from Kwansei Gakuin University in his hometown, with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. He was a teammate of Ichiro Suzuki when the two played for the Orix BlueWave in the Pacific League of NPB. Although he was drafted by the BlueWave as an infielder, he was moved to the outfield later in his career.

He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent in 2002 at the age of 33, a year in which he rose through the minor league system, playing for the New Haven Ravens and the Memphis Redbirds, compiling a .262 batting average, with 6 home runs and 51 RBI. He eventually earned a call-up on September 7, and recorded the first hit of his major league career in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs. Taguchi became the first (and to date only) Japanese-born player in Cardinal history. He originally requested to wear the number 6, but he couldn't because it was retired for Stan Musial, nor could he turn 6 upside down because 9 is retired for Enos Slaughter. He could not wear the number he had at the Olympics because 1 was retired for Ozzie Smith. He was also unable to double 6 as Rick Ankiel was on the roster that year. Finally, he decided to wear 99.

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