Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dodgers & Taiwan


From a Dodgers press release:

DODGERS WELCOME THE TAIWAN TOURISM BUREAU BACK AS A THIRD-YEAR PARTNER

Partnership includes Hong-Chih Kuo Bobblehead promotion on June 14 and Taiwan Community Night on August 13

LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers have announced a renewed partnership with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau for the 2011 season. Now in its third consecutive year as a Dodger partner, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau held a news conference in the Dugout Club today at Dodger Stadium where the Hong-Chih Kuo bobblehead scheduled for June 14 (vs. CIN) was unveiled and Taiwan Community Night scheduled for August 13 (vs. HOU) was announced. This year also marks Taiwan’s 100th anniversary. Dodger third base coach Tim Wallach, pitcher Kenley Jansen and third baseman Russell Mitchell joined Taiwan Tourism Bureau Director Trust Lin and Dodgers Chief Revenue Officer Michael Young at the event.

Last year, the Dodgers made a historic trip to Taiwan for a series against the Chinese Professional League (CPBL). Jansen, Mitchell and Wallach travelled with several of their teammates. Wallach’s first trip to Taiwan was in 1993 as a Dodger player when the Dodgers were the first MLB team to play in Taiwan where they played against the CPBL All-Stars for three games as part of the Dodgers’ Friendship Baseball Series.

This past offseason, the Dodgers were the first MLB team to be awarded the Taiwan Tourism Award presented by Taiwanese Premier Wu Den-Yih to Young and attended by Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou. Taiwan Tourism Bureau Director Trust Lin also presented the award.

“We are pleased to partner with the Dodgers for the third year in a row, an organization that has a long history in baseball development in Taiwan and the first team in MLB to visit our country,” said Lin. “As Taiwan celebrates its 100th anniversary, we will celebrate with the Dodgers, who have had the longest history in MLB with Taiwan, by paying tribute in-stadium on two very special promotional nights.”

The Dodgers’ partnership with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau is highlighted by the Hong-Chih Kuo bobblehead promotion on June 14 and Taiwan Community Night on August 13. Additionally, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau will receive home plate permanent signage, LED signage, and a promotional video about Taiwan displayed on DodgerVision throughout the season.

The Dodgers’ history in Taiwan dates back to the late 1980s and was highlighted by the first-ever trip in 1993. In 1996, the Dodgers established a working agreement with the Sinon Bulls of the CPBL. The Bulls became the first team in Taiwan to train in Latin America when they visited Campo Las Palmas in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2003. Hong-Chih Kuo became the first Taiwanese high school player to sign a professional baseball contract in 2000. On September 9, 2002, Chin-Feng Chen became the first Taiwanese player in the Majors and Kuo became the fourth after his debut in 2005. On Jan. 29, 2007, the Dodgers signed right-handed pitcher Chin-hui Tsao to a one-year contract, giving them three out of four Taiwanese-born players to ever appear in a Major League game. In 2007, Chin-lung Hu made it four out of five. The Dodgers have supported an Asian Operations department when the club concurrently opened the first MLB office in Asia (Tokyo, Japan) and the Dodgers’ overall efforts in Asia date back to 1956.

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