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Chinese Baseball Timeline
Written by Joseph Reaves and Rob Fitts   
Friday, 31 December 2010 01:38
  • 1863 - Shanghai Base Ball Club formed.
  • 1872 - Qing Dynasty government sends a group of 30 male students to study in the United States as part of China's "self-strengthening movement. The students adapt quickly to US culture and form the “Orientals base ball club.”
  • 1879 - Twelve-year-old Sun Yat-sen moves to Hawaii to live with his older brother. The future revolutionary learns baseball in Hawaii and later briefly uses the game for his political purposes.
  • 1881 - The students of the Chinese Educational Mission, summoned home for becoming too Americanized, stop in San Francisco and defeat an Oakland baseball club that challenges them to a game.
  • 1895 - Three schools in China – Beijing's Huiwen College, St. John's College of Shanghai and Tongzhou College in Beijing – organize baseball programs.
  • 1905 - On June 2, two teams from St. John’s University Shanghai and the local YMCA face each other. St. John’s wins what is generally considered the first baseball game between two Chinese teams on the mainland.
  • 1907 - China’s first official intercollegiate game is played in Beijing between Tongzhou and Huiwen.
  • 1911 - Sun Yat-sen's revolutionary party, the Tongmenghui [United League], organizes a baseball association in Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, on the eve of the Chinese Revolution. The Changsha Field Ball Society serves, among other things, as a cover to teach young men how to throw hand grenades.
  • 1911 - The Chinese Overseas Baseball Club, a team organized in Hawaii, defeats the New York Giants in an exhibition game at San Francisco.
  • 1914 - An American missionary, Willard L. Nash, serving as Director of Physical Education at Suzhou University, helps organize six schools into the East China Intercollegiate Athletic Association. St. John’s of Shanghai wins the baseball championship the first year. The league expands to eight teams in 1920 and continues play until 1925.
  • 1915 - China finishes second to the Philippines in the baseball competition at the second Far Eastern Games in Shanghai.
  • 1932 - Six months after Japan invades Manchuria, two teams in the Pacific Coast League start opposing “Japanese” and “Chinese” pitchers in a game dubbed the “Sino-Japan War.” The Japanese pitcher is Hawaiian-born Kenso Nushida, who starts for the Sacramento Senators. The Chinese pitcher is Lee Gum Hong, a second-generation Chinese-American who starts for his hometown Oakland Oaks. Nushida is lifted in the fifth inning and doesn’t figure in the decision. Lee has a one hitter until the sixth inning when he gives up five runs after an error by his shortstop. He gets the loss and Sacramento wins 7-5. Four days later, in the last game of the season, Lee pitches a complete, seven-inning game in a 7-1 Oakland win.
  • 1941-45 - Baseball is played across war-torn Asia by U.S. and Japanese troops and among captives in the opposing Prisoner of War camps much as it was during the U.S. Civil War.
  • 1959 - More than thirty provincial, military, and city teams take part in the first "New China Baseball Tournament” in Maoist China.
  • 1975 - Baseball is officially “rehabilitated” in China after the Cultural Revolution.
  • 1976 - Hong Kong organizes its first Little League team with Chinese players.
  • 1986 - The Los Angeles Dodgers, under the leadership of Peter O’Malley, build a baseball field in the People’s Republic of China for students of the Tianjin Physical and Cultural Center Institute.
  • 1988 - The People’s Republic of China hosts its first official baseball tournament, the Beijing International, for eleven- and twelve-year-old boys.
  • 1995 - Foundation laid for Mongolia's first baseball stadium in Ulan Bator.
  • 1996 - For the first time, a Japanese professional team travels to China to play two games against the Chinese national team. The twenty-two-member squad is made up mostly of farmhands from the Chunichi Dragons and the Orix Blue Wave.

This timeline has been reproduced from Joseph Reaves' book Taking in a Game: A History of Baseball in Asia with the permission of the author.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 January 2011 17:16


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