Skip to comments.How Chinese Baseball Came to North Texas
Posted on 09/12/2018 10:27:15 PM PDT by thecodont
No one knows the Texas AirHogs quite like Larry Green. Over the teams eleven seasons playing baseball, the 61-year-old Green has missed only five home games in Grand Prairie...
The Texas AirHogs are members of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, a federation of twelve, mostly Midwestern, teams unaffiliated with Major League Baseball. Inning breaks are punctuated with water-balloon-toss competitions and mascot races. The level of play is good, but with more overthrows and rundowns than youd find on an average night at a big-league ballpark. Admission starts at $8 for adults, the parking is free and convenient, and season-ticket holders like Green and his roommate, Sharen Norton, get treated like big-shots. The AirHogs general manager, J.T. Onyett, visits the pair every game and sometimes offers up the VIP amenities. When the temperature crept to 110 degrees earlier this summer, the AirHogs staff ushered Green, Norton, and a few of their friends up to a vacant air-conditioned luxury suite. I love the Rangers, Norton, a 62-year-old grandmother says. But would they do that?
Almost everything about the AirHogs existence feels folksy and draped in Americana. So it came as a surprise to the teams small group of season-ticket holders when, at a meet-and-greet with team executives before the start of the season, Onyett told them that their little hometown ball club would be undergoing a first-of-its-kind experiment. Instead of fielding a typical American Association team of fringe prospects, has-been minor leaguers, and guys trying for one last shot at The Show, the 2018 AirHogs would, in effect, lease out the majority of their roster to players from the Chinese national baseball team. Ten veteran non-Chinese prosfive pitchers and five position playerswould supplement the national team squad, acting as on-field ringers and off-field mentors.
(Excerpt) Read more at texasmonthly.com ...
[The teams thirty Chinese players would be leaving two days later for the Asian Games in Indonesia, where they have so far crushed Thailand and Pakistan and lost to Japan by a score of 17-2 .]
As someone who spent his career building organizations from the ground up, I always enjoy watching others who are pioneering. I was ignorant of the nascent Chinese efforts in baseball--although surely not of numerous other endeavors--so I'll now be keeping an eye on them. But, how is it they haven't hired Bobby Valentine?
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