Taiwanese baseball icon Chang Tai-shan was named a WBSC mini baseball ambassador ©WBSC

Newly-retired Taiwanese baseball icon Chang Tai-shan has been announced as a World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) mini baseball ambassador. 

The 42-year-old has had an illustrious career since 1996, becoming the first player in the Chinese Professional Baseball League to drive in 1,000 runs in 2010 and holding the league record in career home runs, 289, and hits, 2,134.

He retired this year at the conclusion of the Australian Baseball League season.

His last game saw him hit a grand slam. 

Chair of the WBSC Development Commission, Angelo Vicini, attended Chang's retirement ceremony and announced the news that he was to become a mini baseball ambassador.

“Chang Tai-shan is definitely the baseball legend in Taiwan," said Vicini.

"When he is on the street, you can see lots of people longing for having pictures with him. 

"Moreover, I think his impact goes beyond Taiwan and even extends to the entirety of Asia.

“I firmly believe that with his popularity and his success in the baseball career, he will help the baseball community to engage more young generations to participate in this sport because he is not only a baseball hero on the field but also a role model people can look up to. 

"We look forward to seeing his promotion on mini baseball."

WBSC launched a mini baseball softball global initiative last year to target the long term expansion of baseball and softball's worldwide population. 

A small and safe version of the game is used to introduce boys and girls to the sports and develop basic baseball and softball skills.