LOS ANGELES (May 18, 2011) – 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 May 18, at Dodger Stadium where the Hong-Chih Kuo bobblehead scheduled for June 14 during the game against Cincinnati was unveiled and Taiwan Community Night scheduled for the August 13 game versus Houston 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 traveled 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 off-season, 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.
The Taiwan Tourism Bureau is dedicated not only to increasing the number of visitors to Taiwan, but also in creating a friendly travel environment for all tourists. There are currently 13 national scenic area administrations in Taiwan and 10 overseas tourism offices around the world.
In 2010, more than 5.56 million international visitors visited Taiwan, which created a record 26 percent growth rate. In its third consecutive year having partnered with the Dodgers, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau has successfully been able to achieve a strong branding image in the US.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, pioneers in sport and world culture, have won more games, more pennants, and more World Series than any other club in the National League since moving to Los Angeles. Since the start of the modern era in baseball, the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles, combined, have a cumulative attendance of more than 188 million, the highest total in the history of baseball or any other sport.