Tue, Nov 25, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Baseball exhibition highlights ‘pride of Taiwan’: organizer

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

People interested in learning more about former US Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民) as well as other players participating in overseas baseball leagues can visit the Taiwan Baseball Heroes Exhibition, set to open on Dec. 6 at the National Taiwan Science Education Center in Taipei.

The exhibition is to feature items from former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kuo Hong-chih (郭泓志) and outfielder Chen Chin-feng (陳金鋒), as well as Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters outfielder Yang Dai-kang (陽岱鋼).

The exhibition’s organizer, Flight International Marketing, said the baseball-related exhibitions are frequently held in Taiwan, but none specifically featured collections from baseball players who are widely perceived as the “pride of Taiwan.”

The organizer said these four players were chosen because of their “history-making performances.”

Chen became the first Taiwanese baseball player in the MLB, when he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002. In 1999, his first year in the minor leagues, he hit 30 home runs and amassed 30 stolen bases. Wang, who played for the New York Yankees, was the first Asian starting pitcher and tied Minnesota Twins pitcher Johan Santana for the most wins in 2006. He racked up 19 wins in both 2006 and 2007.

In 2010, Kuo — with an earned run average of 1.03 — was the first Taiwanese pitcher selected to play in the MLB’s All-Star Game.

Yang has become a legendary figure in the Japanese professional baseball league, being chosen to play in the All-Star game three years in a row and winning the most valuable player award, organizers said.

Flight International Marketing added that the items on display include rare pictures of the players, such as those taken when they were playing as children.

Visitors can also see Yang’s first championship ring, which was given to him after Hokkaido Nippon-Ham won the Japan Series in 2006.

“I was not yet on the starting roster, but the team made a ring for every player on the team. I was able to share this honor with all the famous Japanese players, which later became my motivation to help the team win the Japan Series again,” Yang said in a press conference earlier this month.

Kuo’s fans can also see the pants that he wore for sliding practice, which have encouraging comments written all over them.

Aside from old photographs, visitors can play baseball in a mini-stadium.

In a medical-themed room, guests can see how injured players are treated, using a model of Kuo’s arm to illustrate procedures.

In a locker room mock-up, the players’ old jerseys are to be displayed.

People interested in becoming sports commentators can give it a shot in a broadcast room as well.

The exhibition is to end on March 1 next year.

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