Taiwan Baseball: The Tainan Lions VS. The Taipei Elephants

It’s amazing it has taken me this long to go to a baseball game in Taiwan. I’m a big baseball fan and still follow MLB in America. Some friends of mine have been going to games recently in Tainan and invited me along to see the last Tainan home game for a while.

I didn’t really know what to expect. When watching on TV I always saw lots of errors and a game that is more ‘small ball’, meaning singles, sacrifice bunts, and doing the little things to score runs, rather than a lot of doubles and homeruns.

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This game saw the Lions quickly fall down 2-0 on a homerun. I had just walked into the stadium and was checking out the field when one of the elephants belted one out to right center field.

At this point we went to the concession stand and I picked up a few beers before heading out to our seats The cost? NT 35 dollars for a can of Budweiser. It is amazing compared to American ballpark prices where beers can set you back around 7 dollars a piece. The price of admission was ridiculous as well, as seats in the bleachers went for NT 100.

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The game went on and on, and being knowledgeable about baseball and being a New Yorker, I was getting into the game. My friends thought it was interesting how I could go from ripping the team and players for poor plays to cheering them on when they were doing well. That’s just the way fans from New York work.

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The Lions ended up going down 5-1 before mounting a miraculous comeback in the 7th inning, thanks to some horrendous pitching form the relief squad on the Elephants. They scored 6 runs, two of which came on walks and 1 was on a sacrifice fly. It was enough though, as their Texan relief pitcher came in and got the job done to finish the game. The Tainan Lions managed 8 runs on 7 hits which just goes to show you never know what can happen at a ball game.

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One strange thing at the game was the crowd. The stadium was basically split in half, with the home team fans on one side and the away team fans (who had many fans) on the other. They would cheer and chant to a person who served as their ringleader. They sang variations of children songs, like Old McDonald and the Popeye the sailor man song, and clapped their noisemakers together and tooted their plastic horns after every good play from their team.

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The luck of the Lions changed in the 7th inning after the home team fans unveiled a giant home uniform, the likes of which I have never seen before. It covered about 50 fans, obscuring their view temporarily.

Most of the game we spent chatting and getting into things , as well as indulging in the cheap ballpark beverages. In the end I left happy, buzzed, and grateful I got to see a ballgame, my first one in over 7 years.

About the Author

I am a cultural geographer by nature, and now a photographer, videographer, musician, webmaster and father.

2 Responses to “ Taiwan Baseball: The Tainan Lions VS. The Taipei Elephants ”

  1. How often do you yourself play basball and what position, or do you just write about it?

    Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive that this blog is syndicated through Google and is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

    Baseball greats you should write about next!

  2. I’ve tried watching an American baseball game on TV but it was way too frustrating. There is too much dead time between plays. I thought that baseball was a more dynamic version of cricket but even cricket seems to be fast paced. Could it be that these long pauses between plays are due to the need to show a million ads on TV?

    I’ve asked friends to take to see a game here in Taichung. Seems like a good laugh and there is always the prospect of a juicy hotdog or two. They sell them, right?

    If gameplay is faster with less faffing around between plays I can see myself get into the sport.

    Given soccer is non-existant in Taiwan I don’t have many other options.

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