Chinese Baseball

1china.jpgBaseball has taken me all over the world.  As a player or coach I’ve visited 22 countries spreading the words, Dodgers and baseball. 


I’ve even gone as far as China!  When I left home to play professional baseball at the age of 17 I had never been more than 10 miles away from home.  I was playing for the Schenectady Blue Jays, and since I didn’t know how to spell Schenectady I told my parents I was five miles away from Albany.


Six years ago today, May 23, 2002, I was given the honor of throwing out the first pitch of the Chinese Baseball League’s very first championship game.


A few months later the Chinese National team visited Dodger Stadium and worked out here.  I talked to them, through an interpreter.  It was funny because as I got louder in my talk, so did he.  I also worked with the player sin hopes of making them better.


A few days ago the Chinese National team worked out at Dodger Stadium, and they have come a long way since I was in China.  It’s great to see the game being spread across the globe.


I truly believe that within the next 10 years a great player development system will exist in China.  They are strong people, and as long as they keep playing games, and keep the youth involved, it is only a matter of time.


I’m looking forward to seeing them play in the 2008 Olympics, as well as the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

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