Baseball in Beijing: "Its Really Great"

So if you've been in a Beijing cab or opened an expat mag anytime during the past few weeks, you've probably seen ads for the "China Series", first pitch starting tomorrow, between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, I've even covered it here a few weeks back. The slogan they're going with is something like "Really Great" (ie 真棒)using the character 棒 that is also used for baseball (棒球).

Yahoo Sports did an interesting writeup about the game that gave the overall impression that these games might be enough to put thoughts about the game in the minds of some Chinese youth. This seems to be how Americans always think, but its interesting to note that baseball does have a long history in China, as the Yahoo article discusses (link at the bottom).

Ticket sales and spirits seem to be pretty high for a game that is only going to feature a bunch of journeymen, many of whom may not even be on the roster come April, but its not being promoted as such and with Jet Li throwing out the first pitch, there's a bit of celebrity intrigue involved, including a gala tonight.

Surprisingly, Shanghaiist even informed its readers today that the Chinese Baseball League is actually going to have a 2008 season, I saw it on tv a few season back and found it unwatchable, I think they quickly lost their tv contract and were never heard from again, but its an Olympic year and anything can happen. Though, as Shanghaiist points out, with baseball losing its status as an Olympic sport in London, its longevity as a global game outside of certain pockets is questionable.

Yahoo Sports: Baseball Delivers Its Pitch to China
Shanghaiist on the game

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