“Baseball is not just a sport, it can help affirm a person’s own unique qualities and then surpass their current achievements,” Lin Chun-lan (林群嵐) and Lin Min Yi (林旻誼) said to their team.
In February last year the Lin brothers put together a baseball team and named it H2 — from the words Hot and Hope — in an effort to realize their childhood dreams and also help the children from the junior high-school they both attended.
Lin Chun-lan, a Chinese-language teacher at the Fangyuan Junior High School, and his brother Lin Min-yi, who works for the Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp, received the school’s support in founding the team and providing it with its first 13 members. Just this year the team also saw more students from other junior high-schools join, expanding its numbers to 31 members.
“Our recruitment standards were not based on who had the better skills, but rather if they had the passion and interest for the sport,” the brothers said.
“I did not even know anything about the tactics of baseball beforehand, and I bought books and studied after the team was founded,” Lin Min-yi said, adding that some of the team members possessed even less knowledge on the sport.
Beyond the most simple pitch and toss, most team members had no experience of playing baseball and had no idea about any of the rules, Lin Min-yi said, adding that in the beginning when they held matches the team was often ridiculed.
“I just told them ‘just have fun and do not mind them,’” Lin Min-yi said, adding that after numerous matches and games with other teams, the H2 team finally started getting into shape.
The Lin brothers said they created what they called the “round the nation” match schedule last summer, hiring a bus and going around the nation playing other teams.
“Baseball is not just a sport, it is a relaxation, an experience; it offers the chance to see things that you wouldn’t otherwise see and train both your mental maturity and your will,” the brothers said, citing as an example that through baseball, many of the team members visited Taiwan’s east coast for the first time.
“We don not want kids in our team to excel in baseball, but we do hope that they would be able to come to recognize who and what they are through training. Once you are filled with passion for something, you would be able to surpass yourself, and go one better,” the brothers said.
The team has not let them down.
Despite it being the first time their squad had taken part in the annual Taiwan Community Baseball Game — which was held in Changhua City last month, playing host to 10 baseball teams around the nation — the H2 team soundly trounced all the other teams in their group to win the champion cup.