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MLB brings fun festival to Taiwan

MLB brings fun festival to Taiwan

Want to feel what it's like to swing for the fence like Barry Bonds, or throw a hard sinker over the plate like the "Pride of Taiwan" Wang Chien-ming? Well, you can try it out today and tomorrow at the "Major League Baseball Festival" which is taking place at an outdoor venue in Taipei City.
Featuring fun-filled activities for kids and adults, the MLB Festival is a sports fair event with all the equipment shipped from the U.S. It is a rare opportunity for people in Taiwan to experience American baseball and imitate their heroes in a local "Field of Dreams" setting.
The last time the event - authorized by the MLB organization - was held was 10 years ago when fan support for Taiwan's pro baseball league was at a peak. Now with Wang Chien-ming taking on regular starts with the New York Yankees (also Tsao Chin-hui and Kuo Hong-chi in relief roles for the LA Dodgers), it is a good time for MLB to make a direct connection with local sports fans.
"We are here to raise awareness of Major League Baseball to a great baseball country (Taiwan). It is important to involve baseball at all levels," said Dominick Balsamo, Director for MLB Market Development and Communications.
"It actually involved a lot of work and effort by many people to bring the event here. Taiwan has been excellent. We had to depend on local help and plenty of sponsors to make it happen," Balsamo said.
Upgraded festival
He showed the venue site to journalists yesterday, explaining this "MLB Festival" had an upgrade four years ago, and there is all new game equipment for this tour in Asia. The event was held in Tokyo, Japan earlier this month, attracting 20,000 people during a weekend. Balsamo indicated the event will tour Latin American countries, where it is also highly popular, later this year.
This MLB Baseball extravaganza is free to attend and starts at 10:30 a.m. today and tomorrow at the old Taiwan Tobacco company site at the corner of Chunghsiao East Road and Kuangfu North Road, across from the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
A number of pavilions are already set up for kids and adults to play baseball - with :"Batting Cage" and "Power Swing" for hitting the ball, "Strike Zone" and "Pitching Tunnel" for pitching, plus areas to try out base running. There is also a "Video Zone" to play simulation baseball games, an "MLB Photo Studio" to pose for pictures in team jerseys, and a "Clubhouse Shop" where official Major League souvenirs are on sale.
Various competitions and raffles will take place throughout the weekend, with give-away autographed baseballs signed by famous stars such as Johan Santana (Minnesota Twins pitcher), Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals slugger), and Johnny Damon (NY Yankees outfielder), along with other MLB souvenirs such as pins, towels with imprinted team logos, and fridge magnets.
Chunghua Telecom, the main sponsor, also has its own pavilion with programs of ball-tossing competition with Deaflympic athletes, and people to take home souvenir prizes with correct answers in "Baseball Trivia" game.
The event is a joint effort with Taiwan's pro baseball league CPBL, and several other corporate and media sponsors. Autograph sessions are held in the afternoon (14:00 p.m.) with CPBL players, stars from Brother Elephant team today and from the Macoto Cobras tomorrow.


Updated : 2021-10-18 03:57 GMT+08:00