We went to check out the baseball exhibition at the Museum of the Governor's Office (which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary on October 23rd) in Taipei, Taiwan. Upon entering, we bumped into Taipei mayor Hau Long-bing (郝龍斌), who you can see in the above pic along with my wife Shufang and our daughter Ahleena. I decided to check out the mayor's English; we had a good chat about American baseball (he likes the Yankees, of course) and also that of Taiwan baseball. Mr. Hau, interestingly, made a point of mentioning the CBL and the game of baseball here on the island.
My wife is not a big fan of Hau, on account of his father, who was as premier a major democracy opponent during the early days of Lee Tung-hui. But she did think he was friendly, and was impressed by his English. (Hau doesn't speak English as well as Lien Chan or James Soong, but handles himself just fine.) I haven't been a fan of the CBL, as it bans "foreign" players from competing in its annual All-star game.
The exhibition had lots of old-time Taiwan baseball memorabilia on hand. It took us through Taiwan's five little league world championships and its silver medal showing at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 Oddly, no silver is on display. There is, however, a Chinese Taipei uniform.
The contributors mentioned that baseball was a source of pride for Taiwan during a time of increasing political isolation (starting with Canada, Taiwan lost political ties with most of the Western powers during the seventies.) I was hoping to find more on the development of baseball during the Japanese colonial era, but there wasn't much information about this either. There was a snippet on the Kaohsiung sports college (the name escapes me right now), established in 1929. Wang Chien-ming of the New York Yankees is a graduate of this school. I was also looking for a certain "switch-pitcher" my father remembers, but to no avail. My dad often wondered why the Taiwanese didn't have any Major Leaguers, especially considering their prowess in Little League. Things seem to be changing now; there are three Taiwanese pitching in the Bigs and lots more waiting for their chance in the Minors.