TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Staff at Taoyuan General Hospital, the epicenter of a domestic coronavirus cluster earlier this year, will throw out the first pitch for the Rakuten Monkeys' opener against the Wei Chuan Dragons on Tuesday (March 23) at Taoyuan Baseball Stadium.
The cluster, which began on Jan. 12 and lasted over a month, resulted in 21 confirmed cases and one death. Of these cases, 13 were medical workers at Taoyuan General Hospital and their close relatives.
In a statement on Thursday (March 18), the Rakuten Monkeys of Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) announced that it has invited Taoyuan General Hospital superintendent Hsu Yung-nian (徐永年) and nurse Joanne Yeh (葉佳燕) to throw out the first ceremonial pitch for its home opener. The team said it wants to take the opportunity to thank all the nation's frontline workers.
A Monkeys representative pointed out the country's medical workers have been under enormous stress since the pandemic began. After one year of contributions, they remain committed to risking their lives to ensure the health of the Taiwanese public, it said.
Emphasizing there would be no comic performances at Tuesday's game, the team expressed the hope that the stadium would instead be filled with respect from Taiwanese for the country's frontline medical professionals.
Taoyuan General Hospital superintendent Hsu Yung-nian (Facebook, Rakuten Monkeys photo)