If you’re a huge baseball fan and you Travel to Beijing or Travel to Shanghai any time soon, I would strongly recommend you take the time to head down to a China Baseball League match. As a fan, you will appreciate the cultural differences within the sport. The CBL is the main professional baseball league in the country, under the administration of the Chinese Baseball Association, founded in 2002. Despite only having seven teams registered, it is still a truly an exhilarating sporting feast.

 

The seven teams are: the Beijing Tigers, Sichuan Dragons, Tianjin Lions, Guangdong Leopards, Jiangsu Hopestars, Shanghai Golden Eagles and the Henan Elephants. The Tianjin Lions won the inaugural championship and the most recent champions are the Guangdong Leopards, however it is the Beijing Tigers who have a stronghold on the record books, winning the trophy four times.

The Tigers play their games at the Lucheng Field, based in a rural area to the south of Beijing. Nine of the Tigers were part of the Chinese National Team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Their biggest rivals are the Tianjin Lions. They are the other dominant force in Chinese Baseball. They play at the Tian Ti Dodger Stadium. Notable players include Wang Jingchao, Yang Guogand and Wang Zhenwang, who in fact signed for the world-famous baseball team, New York Yankees in June 2007.

The Chinese National Baseball Team continues to improve as well. They reached 3rd in the 2005 Asian Baseball Championship. They came in 15th in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, but then in 2009 they excelled to 11th Place. Their former coach, Terry Collins, had a 10-year playing career in the United States and then coached a few teams as well. He is now the current manager of the New York Mets.

Sure, baseball is not the most popular sport in China, especially with Basketball and Soccer as their main competition. However, it is still fun to watch, if you’re a fan of the sport. Ask your Beijing Hotels if they would be able to assist you with booking tickets for a match.

 

Jack Li

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