Central News Agency
2008-10-27 06:55 PM
Wang, a Taiwan-born starting pitcher for the New York Yankees, was chosen in recognition of his outstanding performance in the United States major leagues, said Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, who was on the panel of judges.
After spending five years in the minor leagues and overcoming arm surgery, Wang joined the big league club in 2005 and emerged as the Yankees' most consistent starter in both 2006 and 2007.
He won 19 games both years, setting a new mark for wins by an Asian pitcher in a major league season.
"Wang's fighting spirit and superior career achievements have made him a role model for young people in Taiwan," Wang said.
Pianist Liu, a recipient of the 2002 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2002 Philadelphia Musical Fund Society Career Advancement Award, was also selected for the honor for his refusal to succumb to a debilitating disease and persevere with his musical career, according to the judges.
Liu made headlines in 1993 as a 21-year-old student at The Curtis Institute of Music when he substituted for Andre Watts in the All-Star Series at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.
The concert earned high acclaim from critics and the audience alike and was followed by a number of widely praised performances, including a recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Liu's bright career, however, was abruptly halted by a rare and debilitating illness that affected his connective tissues in 1995.
After being hospitalized and almost immobile for two years, a determined Liu underwent intensive physical therapy and embarked again on his concert career in 1998.
An award presentation ceremony is scheduled to be held in Liukuei township in the southernmost county of Pingtung Nov. 21, said officials from the Taiwan Junior Chamber, which sponsors the annual awards.