In case you didn’t notice, over the weekend, Major League Baseball ventured into China for the first time:
The vendors sold peanuts, hot dogs and tea. Blue sky replaced gray smog, and a breeze in left field unfurled China’s red flag alongside the Stars and Stripes.
It was opening day for baseball in China on Saturday.
And the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers left the nearly sellout crowd of 12,224 at the new Olympic venue with an inconclusive outcome — a 3-3 tie in an exhibition game in major league baseball’s first foray into China.
A near-sellout crowd of 12,224 watched Saturday’s 3-3 tie in an exhibition game between the Dodgers and Padres in Bejing.
Not that the result proved all that troubling. Most fans knew so little about the day’s events that nobody booed when play was called after nine innings. And forgive them if they didn’t sing along to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
If you’ve been reading Redleg Nation for any amount of time, you probably have seen me refer to one of my brothers who is currently living in China. Well, he had a chance to attend the first game, and he had this report:
It was crazy fun. The stadium was tiny & probably didn’t have much more seating than UVa’s field does, so no matter where you were, it still felt like you were right on top of the game. Considering we paid 10 bucks for tickets in left field, caught a fly ball, literally had conversations with Andruw Jones on the field, & got on the field & in the locker room afterward, we couldn’t believe some folks actually paid $200 for tickets. It was an awesome time. I don’t know which was more unintentionally entertaining though…the hundreds of Chinese people showing up in Yankees hats, the loud cheers every time someone hit a foul, or the one Chinese guy in the stadium wearing a Reds hat.
I present to you that one guy with my brother:
My brother said this guy “couldn’t speak a lick of English & had no idea who the Reds were, other than that it’s China’s official color.” Well, if he wasn’t a Reds fan, at least my brother was in attendance, so there was at least one Reds fan representing us at the game.
More images snapped by my brother (see all of them under the fold):
My brother on the field.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.