Baseball In Shanghai

Baseball in Shanghai 014 We were very fortunate to be able to join a great group of college students at East China Normal University for an afternoon of baseball. This enthusiastic initiative is led by Coach Pan Wen (nickname “Goose”) who has more than fifty students playing baseball well and regularly, despite the challenge of not having a field!

Baseball in Shanghai 002 There are three men’s teams and one women’s softball team who play regularly at the University, and have occasional games with other teams. We met on a school holiday and there were about forty students there! Our daughter Sterling played catch with some of the women, who were very nice to her.

Shanghai 208 Gibson played in an intra-squad scrimmage, and got a chance to pitch an inning. It wasn’t an easy challenge, since he was pitching from 60 feet, there was no mound, and the next thing after the catcher was a sidewalk and building (with glass windows!). He really loved the chance to pitch in a game, though, and it was very nice of the team to let him come in and participate at that level. He then played second base, and got a few at bats against some very good pitchers. Their best pitcher has a wind-up like Dice-K’s, which was fun to observe.

Shanghai 224 We brought Red Sox hats for the players, and they looked great in them. They could also use a bunch of equipment, and we’re going to try to help them out with some balls, bats, catcher’s gear, and bases. They bring such enthusiasm to the sport, and many of the player’s showed lots of talent. Also, baseball seems to be a great match for the Chinese culture, since it’s a very team-oriented sport and requires real focus and thinking. A challenge for any kid or group interested in any field sport in China, though, is the lack of available fields to play on. We’ve had to work like dogs on our China segment just to find somewhere that we can throw a ball, and have had to improvise at many spots.

Baseball in Shanghai 012

It was also fun to see a half dozen women on the field practicing. They were clearly excited about baseball, and appear to have a very good softball team. I’m a big fan of sports for women, so seeing talented young Chinese women excited about this great sport was really inspiring.

Shanghai 229 Our baseball experience in Shanghai was quite different from that in Adelaide or Beijing. The teams in Adelaide and Beijing were quite “professional,” with consistently talented players, great equipment, outstanding facilities, and excellent coaches. The fields in Adelaide and Beijing, for instance, were better than any baseball field (other than Fenway) that we’ve played on in the U.S. In Shanghai, it had much more of the feel of a bunch of young adults just hanging out on a holiday, playing baseball, and having fun — despite lots of challenges from the lack of a facility.

Baseball in Shanghai 029 All in all, our time with the team at East China Normal was a real highlight of our time in China, and we wish Coach Goose and his great group of players all the best as they build a fun baseball activity in Shanghai! To see photos of this fun day, go to our photo album at:

http://dintersmith.phanfare.com/album/394279/605954#imageID=28099149

4 Responses to “Baseball In Shanghai”

  1. Jim Says:

    Ted, let us know how we can send some balls, hats, shirsts, maybe some equipment? Is there an address or does your office forward it to you over there? Let me know and I will ask

  2. steve spiering Says:

    hey there just reading about your experience in shanghi
    it sounded great
    i am a canadian teaching english here in china at a college
    they have put together a baseball team here in Jinan
    shandong province
    i am out playing and coaching them
    they also need some equipment but manly money to be able to travel and enter tounaments
    since baseball in not yet very popular the school gives their money to football and basketball
    they also havea girls team too

  3. goose Says:

    Hi!Ted.It’s a long time until I can open the website in China.
    Thanks for the help to these students.With your help we have hold a little baseball league with 7 teams(very perfect).I must to say thank you.
    And I ‘ll going on my works on expending baseball in these University.
    Someday I hope I could enjoy baseball in America with you and your familly.

  4. mma Says:

    I find this blog very interesting, i will be here everyday till now. Greetings

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