The National Sport of Taiwan is Baseball.
Baseball in Taiwan is a passion, connecting people of all ages with its exciting and competitive atmosphere.
To learn more about sports culture in Taiwan, read our article about the most popular sports in Taiwan.
Table of Contents
#1 History of Baseball
- 1906: Baseball was first introduced in Taiwan by a local high school student who learned the sport in Japan.
- 1921: The Intercollegiate Baseball League was established, marking the beginning of organized baseball competitions in Taiwan.
- 1931: The first Taiwanese player, Wei-Chuan Food Corporation’s Huang Wen-Po, signed a professional contract with a Japanese team.
- 1959: The Little League World Series saw a Taiwanese team participate for the first time, representing a crucial milestone in baseball development.
- 1990: The creation of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), Taiwan’s highest professional baseball league.
- 2001: Taiwan achieved a historic fourth place in the Baseball World Cup, further establishing its global presence in the sport.
- 2008: Baseball became an official event in the Summer Olympics, with a Taiwanese team competing for the first time.
#2 Culture and Traditions
Baseball’s prominence in Taiwan goes beyond the playing field, with the sport embodying a facet of Taiwanese cultural identity. It fosters enthusiasm and pride, unifying the people through a shared passion and love for the game. Baseball players often reach celebrity status, with their successes and careers keenly followed by fans nationwide.
Several events and festivals are dedicated to baseball, ranging from local tournaments to international championships. The CPBL season, which stretches from March to October, sees fans flock to stadiums with family and friends, creating a lively and spirited atmosphere. Taiwanese communities abroad also maintain their connection to the sport by organizing baseball events and games.
Baseball also plays an integral role in Taiwan’s education system, with many schools offering specialized programs to nurture regional talent. The sport has become a vital part of Taiwanese life, fostering camaraderie among the players and fostering a strong sense of national pride.
#3 How it Works: Rules, Gameplay and Equipment
📕 Rules & Gameplay
- Match Duration: A standard baseball game consists of nine innings, with each team batting and fielding once in each inning.
- Objective: Score more runs than the opposing team by hitting the ball and making it around all four bases.
- Players: Each team has nine players on the field, with each taking up a specific position.
- Strikes: A batter is given three strikes before being declared “out” by the umpire. A strike occurs when a batter swings and misses the ball, or the pitch is thrown within the strike zone and not hit.
- Outs: Teams must accumulate three outs before switching sides; outs can be earned by striking out, catching a hit ball in the air, or tagging out a runner.
⚙️ Equipment & Gear
- Ball: A round, leather-bound ball with a cork and rubber center.
- Bat: A solid wooden or metal bat used by batters to hit the ball.
- Glove: Leather gloves worn by fielders to catch and throw the ball.
- Helmet: Protective headgear worn by batters and base runners to prevent injury from pitches or collisions.
- Uniform: Distinct team uniforms that differentiate players and provide a sense of unity.
#4 Modern Development of Baseball
As Taiwan’s national sport, baseball has undergone significant evolution and adaptation in contemporary times. Technological advancements, such as instant replay and advanced analytics, have contributed to a more refined game and improved player performance. This progress has also increased the global visibility of Taiwanese baseball, with several players making their mark in international leagues, notably in the USA and Japan.
Baseball has also experienced a surge in popularity among the younger Taiwanese demographic, spurred by the success of local stars like Chien-Ming Wang and Wei-Yin Chen. This trend has led to increased government and private investment in baseball infrastructure, resulting in better facilities, training programs, and opportunities for aspiring players.
Recent decades have witnessed the diversification of Taiwanese baseball, with increased representation of women and indigenous players in the sport. Furthermore, the international success of Taiwanese baseball teams in tournaments like the World Baseball Classic and the Asian Baseball Championship has fueled national pride and sparked a wave of excitement and enthusiasm for the game.
#5 Baseball and the Olympics
Baseball has had a varied history in the Olympic Games, first appearing as a demonstration sport in 1912 and becoming an official medal sport in 1992. Taiwan made its Olympic baseball debut in 1992 and has since participated in various Olympic Games, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Although Taiwanese teams have yet to achieve a medal, their Olympic presence has elevated baseball’s status and recognition within Taiwan and beyond.
The Olympics have also had a notable impact on global recognition for baseball. As one of the few international competitions featuring baseball, the Games have facilitated exposure to a broader audience, inspiring new fans and enthusiasts worldwide. Taiwan’s participation in this global event has further solidified the island nation’s significance in the world of baseball, opening avenues for international collaboration and opportunities for players.
#6 Famous Athletes and Achievements
- Chien-Ming Wang: A renowned Taiwanese pitcher, Wang played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for various teams, including the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals. Also, he won the World Baseball Classic with Taiwan in 2006.
- Wei-Yin Chen: Representing Taiwan on the international stage, Chen has played for the Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins in MLB, gaining recognition for his impressive pitching skills and dedication to the sport.
- Cheng-Min Peng: A legendary Taiwanese hitter, Peng holds several CPBL records and has been an important figure in Taiwanese baseball over the years, inspiring countless young athletes.
- Chin-Feng Chen: The first Taiwanese player to enter MLB, Chen opened doors for future generations of Taiwanese baseball players to pursue careers in the United States, setting an important precedent in Taiwan’s sporting history.
#7 Where to watch Baseball
- Television and Streaming: Various television channels and streaming services, such as Videoland, ELTA TV, and FTV, provide extensive coverage of CPBL games, international baseball events, and MLB matches featuring Taiwanese players.
- Live in Taiwan: Catch live baseball games at renowned stadiums like the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium, Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium, Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, and Taipei Tianmu Baseball Stadium, which host CPBL and international games that showcase Taiwanese baseball talent.