Taiwan and baseball

Posted in General at 4:51 am by Nicole

In China they have a term – 国球 (guoqiu, pronounced “gwoh-chee-oo”) – which literally means “country ball,” as in, the country of China. It’s the term for “national sport,” and in mainland China, the national sport is most assuredly ping pong.

Not so, necessarily, in Taiwan, where baseball has really taken off. Taiwan has several representatives in the major leagues, and the Los Angeles Times is reporting today on Taiwanese Heritage Day at Mets Stadium in New York last night at Shea Stadium.

Taiwanese players have made great inroads in MLB and the fans have been there to support them all the way. When the Yankees came to Safeco Field in Seattle recently to play the Mariners, there were national flags everywhere in the stands to support Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang.

[By the way, the CSB makes no distinction between the various Chinese-speaking areas of Asia when it comes to commentating on Chinese sports culture. The focus of this blog is the sports cultures of ethnic Chinese populations in Asia, so Hong Kong and Taiwan sports culture are as much fair game as mainland China. I'd prefer to leave the politics to the politicians and let the athletes play their games, regardless of whether they live in Beijing, Taipei, or the New Territories. For the record, all three of these areas compete separately in the Olympics: the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, known in the Olympic movement as Chinese Taipei.]

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