MLB players amazed at Taiwanese fans’ passion

Staff Writer, with CNA

Thu, Nov 03, 2011 - Page 20

Two Washington Nationals players, in Taiwan for a five-game exhibition series pitting Major League Baseball (MLB) players against Taiwan’s national team, said yesterday that they were very excited to see the passion and enthusiasm of Taiwan’s baseball fans.

At a fan event in Taipei, Michael Morse and Ross Detwiler said they were impressed by the crowd at the first exhibition game on Tuesday night, which the MLB stars led 7-0 when it was called in the sixth inning because of rain.

“The fans are great. They’re in the game, so passionate for the game,” Morse said. “You never know how much the fans love the game until you come here. I feel like we are all fortunate to be here and experience it.”

Scores of fans had lined up outside the MLB Clubhouse Store for yesterday’s fan event long before the two arrived at 9am.

Sun Yi-ching, 22, arrived at about midnight for a place at the head of the line, saying “the long wait is totally worth it.”

“It’s very rare to have so many MLB players come to Taiwan,” said Sun, a college student who started to follow baseball in elementary school.

Besides wearing Washington Nationals jerseys, several fans also made placards to show their -support for the stars.

Holding one that read, “38 Michael Morse, Taiwan’s good friend,” Wu Fu-wen, 36, said he had just finished his night shift and came to see the first baseman.

Meanwhile, Detwiler, who is scheduled to start the second game of the series tonight in Taichung, said his bullpen sessions had gone “pretty well” and that he was ready for his appearance.

The remaining four games of the series are scheduled to be played in Taichung tonight and tomorrow night and in Kaohsiung on Saturday and Sunday nights.