Large crowds of baseball lovers last night swarmed into stadiums in both Hsinchuang City in Taipei County and Chiayi City in central Taiwan, to watch the two opening games of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL, 中華職棒聯盟) for the new baseball season.
In Taipei, the Brother Elephants (兄弟象), last year's champion, was confronted by its long-time rival, the Uni-President Lions (統一獅). Meanwhile, in Chiayi, the home team ChinaTrust Whales (中信鯨) locked horns with the Sinon Bulls (興農牛).
The Elephants beat the Lions 3-1 and the Bulls beat the Whales 5-3.
The CPBL, which currently fields four professional baseball teams, was established 13 years ago in 1990.
According to the Ele-phants' coach Lin Yi-tseng (林易增) -- one of the nation's most successful players before retiring last year -- his players are all in good condition, and the Elephants are confident of winning the championship again -- if the younger players can stay calm during the games.
The Bulls' coach Chen Wei-cheng (陳威成), however, says that his team has a great chance of winning the trophy after signing an NT$6 million contract with the nation's baseball superstar Tsai Chung-nan (蔡仲南). The pitcher's multi-million-dollar contract also makes him the most valuable baseball player in Taiwan's history.