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WILL BASEBALL SAVE THE AM IMAGE?
(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 05:10:08 PM)

ypher Hideo Nomo led the Asian invasion in spectacular fashion when he donned Dodger blue in 1994. His outlandish corkscrew delivery may have helped draw even more media glare than was warranted by his meteoric rise and fall (and recent re-emergence) as a pitching talent. His Dodger teammate Chanho Park, who came from Corea in 1995, showed that an Asian hurler could have staying power too -- not to mention ultimately command seven-figure annual salaries.
     Now the Mariners are stealing the Asian baseball spotlight with the dazzling $13 million Ichiro Suzuki. Halfway into his rookie season here, he was leading the league in hits and steals, not to mention drawing $2 million magazine offers to pose nude. His reward -- an All-Star slot along with Chanho Park. Even better, their respective teams stand an excellent chance of meeting in the World Series.
     Currently six other Asian ballers -- mostly Japanese and Corean imports -- are playing in the American majors and are, for the most part, doing well. That's why scouts are now laying the groundwork for importing as many as 15 more young stars from Japan, Corea and even Taiwan in time for the 2002 season. Admittedly, even a contingent of 24 Asian ballplayers would be only 5% of a combined major league roster of about 500. But if Nomo, Park and Suzuki are any indication, they could have a significant impact on the Asian male media image.
     But will the media spotlight continue to shine on Asian stars or will it burn out as the novelty fades? Is baseball really a sport that can do much for the Asian male image or will we have to wait for a few quarterbacks and tight ends or maybe centers and power forwards? Or is sports just not up on a par with TV and the movies as a studmaker?

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WHAT YOU SAY

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I'm surprised the rookie Chicago Cubs first baseman: Heep Seop Choi, the Korean, has not been mention under this topic. I'm a Chicagoan and Chicago Cub fan..The city and fans loves this guy. He is a great one, great hitter, and i dare to say may turn out to be one of the greatest Asian baseball players in the game in the next 3/5 years. He is still learning the English language. Man this guy is great hitter, plays great defense, and has a mature eye at the plate. You'll hear a lot from him in the near future. Again, we love him here in Chicago....
Blackpanther
Maurice.Smith@ssa.gov    Saturday, April 19, 2003 at 07:38:11 (PDT)    [199.173.224.20]
Go Yao:

Geoff DB has a point in that race SHOULD be secondary to seeing your favorite team succeed, but I agree very much with your point that Asian athletes are sort of folk heroes to AAs because we simply have very few Asian faces in the major American sports (football, basketball, baseball and hockey).

I followed Dat Nguyen's career at Texas A&M with great interest, mostly because football is my favorite sport, but I was impressed that not only was Dat Nguyen a starter on the Aggies' famed "Wrecking Crew" defense, he was one of the finest players in college football, period. Now that he has moved on to the NFL, I no longer care much about Texas A&M, but am interested in watching the Dallas Cowboys play. I can't exactly put a finger on it, but somehow, having an Asian playing the sport Americans are most passionate about is a sort of validation - that Asians can and DO compete (and compete well) in EVERY arena of American society.

There were and are many Asian players on college football rosters throughout the country, but few of them are starters, and even when they are, they aren't prominent players on their teams. Timmy Chang at Hawaii is a notable exception. Whenever they do a pan shot on a team's sideline and I spy an Asian face wearing a uniform (as opposed to being the towel/water boy) my interest is piqued, and I go to that team's website to see who this player is and where he played his high school ball.
"B" as in "bictory"
   Thursday, December 26, 2002 at 23:54:02 (PST)    [63.98.74.2]
Geoff,

You have to understand why so many Asians root for other Asian athletes even if they aren't on their home teams.

We simply haven't gotten recognition in this arena of society, and we want to see someone we can identify with succeed.

Damn, it's not like y'all didn't cheer only for Jackie Robinson way back when he first came out. No way in hell any black person would've cheered for a 'white devil' over Jackie in those days. He was the ultimate folk hero for black folks back then, I'm sure.

Yao is our folk hero.
Go Yao.
   Sunday, December 15, 2002 at 19:56:53 (PST)    [128.253.41.126]
Ray:

When my family, friends and I go to watch a baseball game it is to relax, eat and drink beer, but also to see our team kick the other teams ass.

Whether the player is white, black, Asian or Hispanic doesn't matter. We just want to win.

I've booed and gotten thoroughly pissed off after watching Barry Bonds and other black and white players get "good wood" or "major league cranks" on pitches from Hideo Nomo and Chan Ho Park.

I'd much rather see a white male baseball player on my team (the Dodgers) hit a pitch from an African American pitcher on the opposing team into the grand stands. Why? Cause the white player is on my team. That's how sports work. Race plays second fiddle, unless you're a pure stone-cold racist.

If more Asians and Asian Americans get involved in the game of baseball that will help to change the feeling of exclusion that some Asian Americans feel now. It'll also expose more Americans to Asians' mental and physical skills.

The physical requirements, equipoise and study demanded of quality baseball players makes it an ideal American sport for Asians.
Geoff DB
GeoffDB02@aol.com    Friday, July 26, 2002 at 13:13:43 (PDT)
Baseball has already saved the Asian male image. From what I know there are now full time scouts in Japan and Korea and everywhere else in Asia. And there are actually NBA scouts staying in Asia. Yao Ming will certainly not be the last Asian NBA player. There are still plenty. Right now, from what I heard, they are looking at a 7 foot 3 inch (still growing) teenager who has quickly developed into a strong and powerful center. I expect him to be in the NBA in fours years when he reaches the age to be legible for an international draft. And not to mention a 7 foot 1 270-90 pound teenager NBA scouts claim who plays like Shaq. I too have strong confidence that he too will be an NBA player. And do you know the man who we mostly thank? A player named Wang Zhizhi who is a free-agent, keeping his options free. If the Mavericks cannot match the 4.5 million dollars, the league average for a 2nd round player, he might become a player for the Golden State Warriors in the regular season, a team he played with as a starter in the NBA summer league. By the way, they were so impressed by his shooting and passing in his average 29-minute-per game performances that one the franchise players for the Warriors wanted to know if he could play for them next season. We'll just wait and see what happens. Will Wang play for the Warriors for more money and guranteed playing time? Or will he continue to be a shadow in the Mavericks bench? If you were Wang, what would you do? To me that's an easy bet.
Ray
   Sunday, July 21, 2002 at 12:22:26 (PDT)
First of all, pioneer, I can't agree that Ichiro "changed the way the game is played". In fact, Ichiro is like a throwback to the 70's. There's nothing innovative about his style. It's all classic. But, I do think you're right on the money that people care more about offense...

But, in reality, no baseball player is really going to be a bad-ass. It'll take a football, basketball, or maybe a hockey star for that. We'll have to see how Yao Ming does. #1 pick looks good so far...
Mark
   Wednesday, July 03, 2002 at 14:13:41 (PDT)
Long article on the history of DegaussAsians in baseball:
http://www.thediamondangle.com/archive/mar02/japanball.html
Degauss
   Friday, June 14, 2002 at 08:31:30 (PDT)
Japanese, Taiwanese, and Corean pitchers are nice. The problem is that it's the offensive players that get the lime light here in the States. Ichiro has solved that problem. Receiving MVP among other awards, he has become the most visual Asian ball player in history. He changed the way the game is played. He will be a role model for many Asian americans to come.
The Dallas Mavericks has already recruted a couple of Asian players in the NBA. And now with the hype of Yao Ming, the kids in the Japanese basketball league and among others may want to continue with their basketball careers.
In other sports we are not as lucky. But baby steps....baby steps

pioneer
   Friday, May 17, 2002 at 18:07:05 (PDT)
I couldnt find any page about basketball but I have great news anyway, so that's beside the point.

YAO MING of the Shanghai Sharks has been cleared to enter the NBA Draft 2002!!!!!!!!!!!

Check out the link:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news/ap/20020421/ap-yao-nba.html
ANXIOUS FOR YAO MING
   Monday, April 22, 2002 at 01:31:51 (PDT)

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