Major League Baseball opens 2nd development center in China

Source:Global Times Published: 2011-9-14 22:22:00

US’ Major League Baseball (MLB) opened a new baseball development center in China Tuesday to provide professional baseball training for talented young players.

The Development Center is located at Beijiao Middle School in Changzhou, East China’s Jiangsu Province. It will provide training for middle school students within an academic school environment.

The Development Center is the second MLB baseball training facility in China, after the first one in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, that was set up two years ago.

“One of the missions of MLB and the visions we have is to grow the game, to promote the game of baseball, which I think is the greatest game in the world,” said Paul Archey, MLB’s Senior Vice President at the opening ceremony of the center.

Like the first one in Wuxi, the center has an international team of baseball instructors. Students will receive baseball training and lessons in English in addition to receiving an excellent academic education.

Archey said that he hoped the players would have numerous promising career opportunities, including playing professionally in MLB games.

“The training facilities here are second to none, it’s a dream well in reach,” Archey said, adding that nearly 30 percent of MLB players are foreign born.

“MLB plays a crucial role in promoting baseball in China. Two years after the training center in Wuxi was established, young players had great performance in international games,” said Shen Wei, Secretary-General of the Chinese Baseball Association.

“I believe the development center in Changzhou will attract and help scout more young talents for baseball in China,” said Shen.

“The biggest challenge is sharing the game of baseball with as many people as we can in China,” said Jim Small, vice president for Asia of MLB. “To make baseball a Chinese sport is our goal.”

In 2008, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres met in the first-ever Major League Baseball games played in China during Spring Training. The games helped increase popularity of the sport in China.

MLB launched Play Ball!, a grassroots youth baseball program, in Chinese elementary schools and middle schools in 2007. To date, the program has provided baseball training and coaching instruction to more than 120 schools across the country. 


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