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:

Chinese Reds Fan!

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):

Two Cultures

Chinese Yankees

My brother on the field in China
My brother on the field.

Chinese bullpen

About The Author

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

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10 Responses

  1. Jared

    Maybe friendly international exchanges like this will help postpone the end of the world.

  2. Andy

    if the organization was smart, they’d see this as a great marketing opportunity. just tell everyone that the “C” stands for China. That’s the kind of alternative revenue stream harnessing we need to pump up this “small-market” franchise. Once Marty is beamed into a billion more households, the Reds will be able to compete in the central.

  3. gboll

    Love the photos! Where is Jordan’s Red’s hat, though? 😉

  4. Airguitarducks

    then we can afford some actual pitching!

  5. Chris W.

    I thought that was Jordan wearing the hat!? 😀

  6. Dave from Louisville


    You are exactly right, I’m sure that’s at the top of the list for Red’s brass. Marketing our ballcap to represent Communist China. I’m sure this will go over well back home.

  7. ken

    That’s the kind of alternative revenue stream harnessing we need to pump up this “small-market” franchise

    International revenues are shared, so there isn’t a direct stream to tap. Still, I’d love to see the Reds set up an academy. There’s like a hundred million lefties over there. 😉

  8. Chris W.

    We have the perfect team name to represent China. Or wait, that whole scare is over now isn’t it.

  9. daedalus

    Dave from Louisville – Why not? MLB markets to gangs. Capitalism knows no moral boundaries.