The Los Angeles Dodgers will travel to Taiwan and play two games against a team from the Chinese Professional Baseball League on March 13 and 14, MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced January 23, 2010 in Taipei.
This will be the Dodgers second trip to Taiwan. They became the first Major League team to play in Taiwan in 1993 when they competed against a team of CPBL All-Stars.
The games will mark the third time since 2008 that a Major League team has traveled to Asia. In March 2008, the Dodgers and San Diego Padres played two Spring Training games in Beijing, the first-ever MLB games played in China. Later that month, the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s opened the 2008 MLB regular season with a two-game series in Tokyo, Japan.
The two-game set in Taiwan will not be part of the 2010 MLB Spring Training Schedule.
“I would like to thank the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Chinese Professional Baseball League for making this historic event possible,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “Major League Baseball is committed to the continued international growth of our game, and we are excited to have the opportunity to bring these games to the great fans in Taiwan.”
“On behalf of all Major League players, I want to thank everyone involved in the effort for the opportunity to bring Major League baseball to the people of Taiwan,” said MLBPA Executive Director, Michael Weiner. “The Dodgers players look forward to playing before some of the world’s greatest baseball fans. The MLBPA is pleased to be working with the Chinese Professional Baseball League and Major League Baseball in this effort to expand the world-wide popularity of the game we all love.”
“We’re very excited to return to Taiwan and continue to strengthen the relationships that date back to the 1980s,” said Dodger Owner Frank McCourt. “The Dodgers believe wholeheartedly in the development of the game of baseball internationally and we have many fans in Taiwan who we look forward to seeing in March.”
Following the historic Dodger game versus the CPBL all-stars in 1993, the club further developed their partnerships in Taiwan. In 1996, The Dodgers formed a working agreement with the Sinon Bulls of the CPBL and the Bulls became the first Taiwanese team to train in Latin America when they visited the Dodgers’ facility in the Dominican Republic, Campo Las Palmas, in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2003.
The Dodgers were the first MLB club to sign a Taiwanese high school player, pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo in 2000. On September 9, 2002, Chin-Feng Chen became the first Taiwan-born player in the Majors and Kuo became the fourth in 2005. Of the six Taiwanese players to appear in the Major Leagues, four have played for the Dodgers.