Baseball Is Back!

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Live baseball is back and available for streaming with the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

Okay, okay. Major League Baseball is not back, but professional baseball is.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still ravaging America and sports delayed due to a mismanaged response by national leadership, we sports fans are starved.  Basketball and hockey playoffs should be underway, and the baseball season should have started to signal the beginning of spring and rebirth.

As news of the outbreak reached Taiwan, its leaders took action.  With universal health care and a strong public medical system, keeping the population healthy was relatively easy. Taiwan implemented screenings, travel restrictions, quarantines, mass distribution of masks and sanitizer, price controls, and export bans for necessary medical equipment. Now, with few cases and the virus effectively defeated, Taiwan is ready to play ball!

CPBL Overview

Founded in 1990, the Chinese Professional Baseball League (Taiwan’s official name is the Republic of China) boasts a level of play somewhat equivalent to AA or A ball.  The greatest Taiwanese player in history is Wang Chen-Chih (also known as Sadaharu Oh), though he predates the CPBL.  Sixteen CPBL players have made it to the big leagues. The best are Hung-Chih Kuo, Chien-Ming Wang, and Wei-Yin Chen.  Several MLB players found themselves in Taiwan, most notably Manny Ramirez.

Five teams make up the CPBL. The Taichung Brothers, Tainan Lions, Taipei Guardians, Taoyuan Monkeys, and newcomers Hsinchu Dragons are playing in front of empty stadiums for now.  However, their games are available for streaming across the globe.  American audiences can view the games for free here.

Sports are not the most important issue.  The health and safety of people, the defeat of this virus, the restoration of the economy, and holding national leaders accountable for their mistakes all rank ahead of sports in terms of priorities.  Yet, sports matter. They give us a sense of normalcy, community, and entertainment. We need them back.  Until our domestic leagues are up and running, check out the Chinese Professional Baseball League. You will find some pleasantly surprising baseball.

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