Two high school graduates from Taichung City formally joined Major League Baseball team the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday after signing contracts with a scout from the club.
Hung Sheng-chin, a pitcher and Chi Ping-hung, an outfielder — both of whom have represented Taichung’s Shi Yuan Senior High School in US Pony Baseball League games and high school games in Taiwan — signed contracts with Pirates scout Chiang Fu-chun at the Taichung City Council, witnessed by Shi Yuan Senior High Principal Liu Chin-chung and Taichung City Councilor Chang-Liao Wan-chien.
A thrilled Hung said that “my dream of playing baseball in the United States has come true.”
Hung, who stands 1.83m tall and can pitch a well-controlled fastball at up to 144kph, wants to be a starting pitcher for the Pirates, while 1.70m Chi is fleet-footed and can make home plate to first base in just 3.9 seconds.
Chi said that while he will try his utmost playing baseball in the US, he is committed to eventually being in a position to contribute to the development of Taiwan’s baseball.
Chiang said the Pirates have been watching Hung and Chi for the last three years and have been impressed with their technique.
Team management decided to sign them as soon as they graduated from senior high school, Chiang said.
Hung and Chi will first receive training in Australia for about six months before heading to the US to cut their teeth on US Minor League Baseball games, he said.