Hard-core baseball fan works to rekindle Taiwan's love of the game
By Joseph Yeh, The China Post
April 30, 2012, 12:06 am TWN
“There is always hope despite numerous disappointments,” he said.
To improve the league and better safeguard players' rights, Wang has taken part in drafting some fundamental changes to the league over the past years, including the introduction of a free-agent system and setting up a minimum wage for players.
Starting this season, the league also launched a full-scale minor league system under Wang's suggestion.
All these newly launched efforts were done in the hope of breaking away from old problems and embracing new fans.
Amid these new measures, the pro league does have another sign of revival; the attendance rate for the past season has risen to around 3,000 from 2,000 per game in the previous season.
But as pointed out by Wang, the most important things that could continue to push the CPBL in the right direction lies not just on simply amending the system, but on helping the players themselves.
“Players should take their job seriously and show more respect to the game, to themselves and to the fans,” he noted.
Players must respect their jobs and not throw games to get fans to return to the baseball diamond, he said.
After the recent experience learned after holding the Asia Series and other international events in Taiwan, Wang said it is of primary importance by taking every part of the game serious so that others will take the Taiwanese league and its players more serious as well.
Like idiom “the devil is in the details” suggests, he said Taiwan has so much room for improvement in making a better baseball environment, he added.
Passion the Key to Work in Baseball
Looking forward to the future, Wang said the league is set to host a winter league in central and southern Taiwan at the end of this year, which is expected to be joined by Japanese and South Korean teams to further globalize the sport.
“We are also currently drafting to build spring training complex in southern Taiwan,” Wang said. Once completed, other Asian pro teams could visit the island during offseason for training, which could further enhance exchanges and boost local tourism, he added.
Starting as a fan but now an integral part of the CPBL management, Wang said those who want to join the league should first sharpen their language skills and sports management knowledge.
Richard Wang (王雲慶), director for CPBL's Strategic Planning & International Affairs, stands beside the Asia Series poster, in this undated file photograph taken in Taipei.