Sat, Aug 18, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Diplomat to cheer on Taiwan's little leaguers in US play

By Charles Snyder  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON

In their quest for Taiwan's 18th world championship,Taiwan's Li Hsing Little League baseball dynamos will get a boost this weekend when Representative to Washington Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) travels to the small town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to cheer the team on as the world championship series begins there.

The team, from Taichung, won the Asia-Pacific championship in Hong Kong last month, amassing a 3-0 record in the Asian division over squads from Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong, and then beating Saipan from the Pacific division 12-0 in the Asia-Pacific final.

Wu, who is heading a group of baseball afficionados from the representative office in Washington, will travel to the championships on Sunday, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington said on Thursday.

Wu is described as a big baseball fan, regularly watching Taiwan's star pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建明) perform for the New York Yankees on television at his palatial official residence, a press release issued by the office said.

The world championship, which began yesterday, yesterday pitted Taiwan against Nicaragua, winner of the Central American championship.

Then tomorrow, in the game Wu and his entourage will be watching, the Li Hsing team meets the Netherlands, the winner of the European championship. If they win in that round, the team will go to the semi-finals next week, culminating with the final match on Aug. 26.

Since the ascendency of the Taiwan Little League juggernaut in the wake of World War II, teams from Taiwan have competed in 23 world championships, winning 17 of the tournaments to become one of the world's premier little league phenomena.

They last competed in the world championships two years ago.

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