Baseball in Shanghai? Another American Sport Exported to China

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As an athlete (or as a minimum, has been an athlete within the beyond) and a sports fan, one of the challenging things about finding myself on a prolonged stay in Shanghai, China (putting in place carrying items manufacturing and other commercial enterprise contacts) is the close to isolation from maximum American sports activities. Although basketball, over the past ten or so years, has emerged as famous among Chinese human beings, baseball has but to discover its way into the sports activities subculture here. While at each school or playground, you’ll probably find a few youngsters aspiring to become the subsequent Yao Ming, point out the term “baseball” to maximum Chinese, even ones who communicate pretty desirable English. You’ll probably find yourself having to look thru a phrasebook to locate the Chinese word for baseball: “bangqiu” (stated bong chi-o).

I had heard from a number of the expatriates dwelling in Shanghai that there was a few sorts of baseball group gambling in the metropolis, so I did a few Google searches to peer whether I ought to locate statistics about the team. I found a few articles on the Internet about the Shanghai Eagles’ spring trip to the U.S. To compete in opposition to junior college groups. The sports summaries, published with the aid of the news human beings at many U.S. Faculties in opposition to which the Eagles performed, defined a crew with first-rate pitching but no longer plenty hitting. As can show up with that form of team chemistry, the Shanghai club misplaced all seven of its exhibition games inside the U.S.

I didn’t anticipate tons once I watched the team play, but I was excited to see a baseball subject once more, having been in China for a while, and I wanted to experience the baseball surroundings here. A Chinese pal of mine hunted down statistics about wherein the Shanghai Eagles performed and at what time, so I took my spouse out for a Friday afternoon in the baseball area.

The antique ball recreation didn’t have any peanuts or Cracker-Jacks, warm puppies, liquids, or very many spectators. There changed into a mascot dressed in a hen in shape, and, although we had to search in the back of some buildings to discover it, enormously the sphere seemed quite general. There was a total of, in all likelihood, fifty people in attendance while the game started. People got here and went as the sport progressed. Something that struck me became the feeling that many there have been difficult-center baseball fans, the sort you’ll anticipate to find catching foul balls at an MLB park. After fast being noticed as one of the handiest white guys in attendance, I changed into approached using

Dan Washburn, an information representative, is doing a story for Baseball America. During my verbal exchange with him, he told me that he met a few older Chinese men at one of the video games he’d attended. He cited that after he asked them what brought them out to the event, they advised him they played ball when they were much more youthful, being compelled to leave the game at the back of while Mao Zedong did away with the American influence during the Cultural Revolution. As for the group of boisterous, university-aged fanatics, I changed into informed that a set of them attended the neighborhood baseball college, and they were skilled to later emerge as experts. (In China, many youngsters who explicitly have a selected athletic skill are guided down a specialized path mainly dedicated to the closing success in their athletic talents.) A few younger T-ball-aged kids at the sport had been introduced to me by the uncle of one of the boys. He desired them to practice English with my spouse and me, and later the two boys asked me to play trap with them using the homemade-looking, well-used baseball one of the boys added to the sport.