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zhangwl1

Joined: Jan 27, 2015
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  Posted: 2016-07-11 03:58

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As an athlete (or at least having been an athlete in the past) and a sports fan Cheap Alec Ogletree Jersey , one of the difficult things about finding myself on an extended stay in Shanghai, China (setting up sporting goods manufacturing and other business contacts) is the near isolation from most American sports. Although basketball, over the past ten or so years, has become popular among the Chinese people, baseball has yet to find its way into the sports culture here. While at every school or playground it's likely you'll find some kid aspiring to become the next Yao Ming, mention the term "baseball" to most Chinese, even ones who speak pretty good English Cheap Akeem Ayers Jersey , and you'll likely find yourself having to search through a phrasebook to find the Chinese phrase for baseball: "bangqiu" (pronounced bong chi-o).


I had heard from some of the expatriates living in Shanghai that there was some sort of baseball team playing in the city, so I did some Google searches to see whether I could find information about the team. I found a few articles on the Internet about the Shanghai Eagles' spring trip to the U.S. to compete against junior college teams. The game summaries, published by the news people at a few of the U.S. schools against which the Eagles played, described a team that had decent pitching, but not much hitting. As can happen with that kind of team chemistry, the Shanghai club lost all seven of its exhibition games in the U.S.


I didn't expect much when I went to watch the team play, but I was excited to actually see a baseball field again Cheap Aaron Donald Jersey , having been in China for awhile, and I wanted to experience the baseball environment here. A Chinese friend of mine hunted down information about where the Shanghai Eagles played and at what time, so I took my wife out for a Friday afternoon at the baseball field.


The old ball game didn't have any peanuts or Cracker-Jacks, or hot dogs, or drinks, or very many spectators. There was a mascot dressed in a chicken suit, and http://www.laramslockroom.com/ , although we had to search behind some buildings to find it, surprisingly the field looked pretty standard. There was a total of probably fifty people in attendance when the game began. People came and went as the game progressed. Something that struck me was the feeling that many there were obviously hard-core baseball fans, the kind you would expect to find catching foul balls at a MLB park. After quickly being spotted as one of the only white guys in attendance, I was approached by Dan Washburn, a news consultant doing a story for Baseball America. During my conversation with him, he told me that he met some older Chinese men at one of the games he'd attended. He mentioned that when he asked them what brought them out to the event, they told him they played ball when they were much younger Cheap William Hayes Jersey , being forced to leave the game behind when Mao Zedong did away with the American influence during the Cultural Revolution. As for the group of boisterous, college-aged enthusiasts, I was told that a group of them attended the local baseball college, and they were being trained to later become professionals. (In China, many children who express a particular athletic skill are guided down a specialized path devoted largely to the ultimate fulfillment of their athletic capabilities.) There were some younger T-ball aged kids at the game who were introduced to me by the uncle of one of the boys. He wanted them to practice English with me and my wife, and later the two boys asked me to play catch with them using the homemade-looking, well-used baseball one of the boys brought to the game.


The area we used to play catch was the same grass area outside the stadium used by the professional teams to warm up their bullpen pitchers. I used the opportunity to get a feel for how well a professional pitcher in China throws. The one I saw was probably throwing in the high-70's to low 80's. I watched him throw curve balls with some good movement and change ups as well. His control was comparable to an average to good college pitcher.


The particular game we watched went into extra innings as the Eagles dropped a large lead late in the game. Being distracted by people attempting to practice English during the tenth and eleventh innings Cheap Tyler Higbee Jersey , it wasn't until the twelfth that I noticed a strange twist to baseball as the Chinese play it. Probably for the sake of ending the game as soon as possible, they allow both teams to start extra innings with a runner on second base. One problem I saw with this approach is that it made the game boring, as the apparent lack of confidence in hitting on the part of both teams turned the extra innings into a bunt-fest. Finally Tianjin broke open and went on to win 9-5 in 12 innings.


During the game, I met some college baseball players who had become interested in baseball when they came to college. They don't attend the designated baseball college, so their educational involvement baseball is only extra-curricular. They invited me to play with them, and I have participated in some of their practices and scrimmages.


On a Wednesday afternoon in May I followed the directions given to me to meet the team at the Shanghai Teacher's University on Guilin Road. The field where the team practiced wasn't actually a baseball field. It was a general-purpose field used mainly for soccer and track exercises. I have quickly come to understand that the space limitations in Shanghai, similar to most parts of China Cheap Trumaine Johnson Jersey , make it so that facilities have to double up on their usage. It was amusing to me to watch as we set up for a scrimmage. The areas where right and center field should be was filled with a mix of people, includin?




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