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Chinese Professional Baseball League

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL)
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2023 Chinese Professional Baseball League season
SportBaseball
Founded1989
CommissionerTsai Chi-chang
No. of teams6
CountryTaiwan
ContinentAsia
Most recent
champion(s)
Wei Chuan Dragons (5th title)
(2023)
Most titlesUni-President 7-Eleven Lions (10 titles)
QualificationAsia Series (2005–2013)
TV partner(s)CPBL TV
Elta TV
Videoland Television Network
Eleven Sports Network
MOMOTV
Level on pyramid1
Official websitewww.CPBL.com.tw
Taichung Intercontinental Stadium.

The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL; Chinese: 中華職業棒球大聯盟; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Zhíyè Bàngqiú Dàliánméng) is the top-tier professional baseball league in Taiwan. The league was established in 1989 and played the first season in 1990.[1] CPBL eventually absorbed the competing Taiwan Major League in 2003. As of the 2024 season, the CPBL consists of six organizations, all of which have teams in the main league and farm league.

The CPBL consists of Major (Chinese: 一軍; lit. 'first/primary corps') and, since 2006, Minor (Chinese: 二軍; lit. 'second/reserve corps') leagues, with the Minor league team rosters consist of developmental and injury-recovering players.

CPBL TV is CPBL's official paid live-streaming and video-on-demand platform. It receives signals from each team's broadcasting partners and is available worldwide.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Chinese Professional Baseball League Stadiums
  • A Guide to the CPBL - Pro Baseball in Taiwan
  • Baseball In China
  • A Pan-Asian Baseball League
  • An American's Guide to the Chinese Professional Baseball League and Baseball in Taiwan

Transcription

History

Baseball was first introduced to Taiwan during Japanese rule, and gained popularity when the national little league baseball teams won numerous Little League World Series championships in the 1970s and 1980s. The national baseball team also performed exceptionally well in many international competitions.[2] However, the development of baseball in Taiwan was limited due to the lack of a professional league, and therefore many players were reluctant to commit to the sport.

The idea of forming a professional baseball league in Taiwan was first suggested by local Brother Hotel's chairman Hung Teng-sheng (洪騰勝).[2] He formed his amateur Brother Hotel baseball team in 1984, and intended to professionalize his team and form a professional league within a few years. Throughout 1988 and 1989, Hung visited numerous Taiwanese businesses, trying to convince them to form professional baseball clubs. Most of his requests were rejected, but Wei Chuan Corporation, Mercuries Chain Stores, and Uni-President Corporation all supported the idea and formed teams. The Chinese Professional Baseball League was established on October 23, 1989, with Hung Teng-sheng acting as secretary-general. Because of his contribution to professional baseball in Taiwan, Hung is sometimes referred to as the "Father of the CPBL."[2] Chung Meng-shun (鍾孟舜) designed every original logo of the four founding teams.[3]

Expansions in the 1990s

With the popularity rise in the first few years, the Jungo Bears and China Times Eagles joined in 1993. The Koos Group Whales joined in 1997. The league consisted of seven teams in the 1997 season which is the maximum in CPBL history.

Game-fixing scandals and decline in popularity

The Black Eagles Incident in 1997 resulted in a major popularity decline. The China Times Eagles became defunct after the 1997 season. The Wei Chuan Dragons and Mercuries Tigers also became defunct after the 1999 season, prior to which the Dragons had won all championships from 1997 to 1999.

Merger with Taiwan Major League

In 1997, the newly founded Taiwan Major League began to compete with the CPBL. The two leagues were often competing with each other, but eventually, the TML merged with the CPBL.

Recent expansions

In May 2019, Commissioner John Wu announced that CPBL had reached agreement with Ting Hsin International Group to join the league by reactivating a former team, the Wei Chuan Dragons. The Dragons participated in the minor league in 2020, and returned to the major league in 2021.[4]

After Tsai Chi-chang became commissioner in 2021, he proposed that Kaohsiung serve as the location for a new team since it was the only major city in Taiwan without a CPBL team at the time.[5] In February 2022, Tsai announced that the sixth team would either be formed by Chunghwa Telecom or Taiwan Steel Group. It was later announced that the expansion team would be by Taiwan Steel Group. The proposed team name is TSG Hawks, and their home field would be Chengcing Lake Stadium in Kaohsiung.[6]

2020 season and COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opening day of the 31st CPBL season on March 14 was delayed. It was originally brought earlier compared to previous seasons to accommodate the final qualifying tournament of 2021 Tokyo Olympics.[7]

On 1 April, the CPBL announced that the season would begin from 11 April as the Rakuten Monkeys hosted the Chinatrust Brothers with the games being playing without live fans.[8] This received international coverage because other major baseball leagues such as the MLB in North America, the NPB in Japan, and the KBO in South Korea, which were still severely impacted by the virus outbreak were unable to confirm the dates of their respective season openings.[9] The annual CPBL All-Star Game was cancelled for the first time to accommodate to the compact schedule.[10]

Naming issue

The name "Chinese Professional Baseball League" has attracted debate among Taiwanese baseball fans. Owing to the ambiguous political status of Taiwan and the Nagoya Resolution, the Republic of China (Taiwan) was forced to use the name of "Chinese Taipei" under pressure from the People's Republic of China. Many have called to for the name of CPBL be changed, with suggestions including the replacement of “Chinese” with “Taiwan”, “Formosa” or “Chunghwa”.[11][12]

In the 2018 Taiwanese referendum, CPBL officials publicly rejected the proposal for Taiwan to compete as "Taiwan" in the 2020 Summer Olympics, for fear that Taiwanese athletes may risk losing eligibility. The league received criticism for holding this stance while selling official merchandise that said "Team Taiwan."[13]

In April 2020, Premier Su Tseng-chang said that in order to elevate Taiwan's visibility in the world, there was a need to distinguish Taiwan from China in the naming of China Airlines and CPBL.[14] A New Power Party survey showed that 62% of Taiwanese people support changing the name of the league to distinguish itself from Chinese baseball and avoid confusion.[15]

In January 2021, CPBL commissioner Tsai Chi-chang agreed that spectators should be made aware that the league was being played in Taiwan and not China, but that a name change was not a top priority.[16]

Organizations

All teams are owned by and named after large Taiwanese corporations, a similar practice seen in Japan's NPB and South Korea's KBO. Each team manages a regional market with a home city, but does not play its games exclusively in that market. Other than the home cities, regular season games are also held in Hsinchu, Douliu, Chiayi, Pingtung, Luodong, Hualien, and Taitung with less frequency.

Each season spans from March to October, with a one-week all-star break in June or July, which separates the season into first and second half-seasons. Playoffs are held in late October or early November, with three teams competing in two rounds. A team may qualify for playoffs either by winning a half-season title, or be awarded a wild card berth by attaining the highest place in the seasonal ranks. If a team wins a half-season title, it will not be considered in the seasonal ranks when the winner of the wild card is being decided. If both half seasons were won by the same team, another wild card berth will be given through the same mechanism after the first berth has been awarded

Between 2005 and 2013, the champion team will represent Taiwan in the Asia Series to compete with other champion teams from Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan Series), KBO League (Korean Series), Australian Baseball League (Claxton Shield), and the WBSC Europe (European Champion Cup).

Foreign players

A typical monthly salary for a foreign player is in between 25,000 and 50,000 USD, these positions are normally filled by AA, AAA, or Japanese minor leaguers. The number of foreign players allowed on a team's roster is limited to four. Of the four players only three are allowed to be activated on the major league roster, the remaining foreign player can practice and prepare with the team or play in the minors. A foreign player, once sent to the minor league team, must wait a week before being allowed to be recalled to the major league.

Foreign players, from regions other than Japan and South Korea, are given Chinese epithets to increase familiarity with Taiwanese fans. These epithets, usually two to three characters in length, are generally loose transliterations of the players' names and are generally chosen as terms meant to convey strength or might. One example is Jeff Andra, whose epithet is Feiyong (飛勇) — meaning, literally, a flying brave man. Recently however, most foreign players are just simply given a direct Chinese transcription. Some players (mostly foreign players) have now adopted the custom in the rest of the world by placing their surnames on the back of their jerseys using the Latin alphabet. Some teams now have adopted Latin alphabet jerseys, a trend that has picked up in recent years. The Fubon Guardians only have uniforms with such, and the other teams are adopting such jerseys on occasion.

Current clubs

Location of the member organisations
Club Chinese Name Location Stadium Capacity Founded Joined
CTBC Brothers 中信兄弟 Taichung City Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 20,000 1984 1990
Fubon Guardians 富邦悍將 New Taipei City Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium 12,500 1989 1993
Rakuten Monkeys 樂天桃猿 Taoyuan City Rakuten Taoyuan Baseball Stadium 20,000 2003 2003
TSG Hawks 台鋼雄鷹 Kaohsiung City Chengcing Lake Baseball Stadium 20,000 2022 2023
Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions 統一7-ᴇʟᴇᴠᴇn獅 Tainan City Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium 12,000 1989 1990
Wei Chuan Dragons 味全龍 Taipei City
Hsinchu
Tianmu Baseball Stadium
Hsinchu Baseball Stadium
10,000 1988
2019 (refounded)
1990–1999
2020 (reactivated)

Defunct clubs

Minor League

The CPBL Minor League took shape in late 2003 as a result of cooperation with Chinese Taipei Baseball Association. Alternative service draftees, players deemed eligible to complete their national service obligation in the field of baseball, were sent to the CPBL member organizations to fill their roster. There are currently 6 minor league teams, each plays about 80 games annually. Similar to the NPB's minor leagues, the minor league teams are each owned by CPBL member clubs as reserve teams rather than independent organizations.

League Champions

Titles by teams as of the end of the 2023 CPBL season:

Team Titles Runners-up
Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions
10
7
CTBC Brothers
9
8
Rakuten Monkeys
7
4
Wei Chuan Dragons
5
2
Fubon Guardians
3
5
Chinatrust Whales (defunct)
0
2
China Times Eagles (defunct)
0
1
Macoto Cobras (defunct)
0
1
Mercuries Tigers (defunct)
0
1

The Taiwan Series was not held in 1992, 1994 and 1995 because the Brother Elephants and the Uni-President Lions had won the titles by virtue of winning both half-seasons.

All-star game

An all-star game has been held since 1990.

Home Run Derby

A home run derby has been held since 1992. It is usually held the day before the all-star game.

Awards

Culture

Cheersticks are a pair of plastic sticks, often seen at baseball games in Taiwan. They are banged together to make noise.

Colors of cheersticks in the CPBL

Colors of cheersticks in the TML

See also

References

  1. ^ Intro of CPBL Archived 2009-03-16 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c Han Cheung (13 March 2022). "Taiwan in Time: The beleaguered big league". Taipei Times. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  3. ^ Wu, Po-hsuan; Chin, Jonathan (28 October 2015). "Baseball artist's can-do attitude a hit". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Active Clubs" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). CPBL. 10 April 2020. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  5. ^ "目標促成第6隊!蔡其昌接中職會長後 將拜訪高雄陳其邁" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). SET News. 24 December 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  6. ^ "台鋼雄鷹來了!第六隊橫跨棒籃足" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). 25 Feb 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  7. ^ Bengel, Chris (7 April 2020). "Rakuten Monkeys will have robot mannequins dressed as fans when 2020 season begins". CBS Sports. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  8. ^ Armstrong, Megan (8 April 2020). "CPBL's Rakuten Monkeys to Use Robot Mannequins as Fans Amid COVID-19". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  9. ^ Flannery, Russell (5 April 2020). "Taiwan To Achieve Feat That Eludes U.S.: Open Baseball Season This Month". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  10. ^ "關於中職-聯盟組織架構" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). CPBL. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  11. ^ "Taiwan's "Chinese Professional Baseball League" Should Change Its Name". 12 February 2021.
  12. ^ "Fans urge CPBL name change to end confusion - Taipei Times". 23 April 2022.
  13. ^ "反東奧正名卻出「台灣隊」商品 網友留言酸中職..." Liberty Times (in Chinese (Taiwan)). 23 November 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2023.
  14. ^ Liu, Yu-chiu (2020-04-14). "華航、中職正名?蘇貞昌:要讓世界看到台灣不是中國". Radio Taiwan International (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Archived from the original on 2020-11-28. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  15. ^ Hsieh, Chun-lin (11 May 2020). "把Taiwan變大沒那麼難 時力籲中職回應正名訴求". Liberty Times (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Retrieved 28 December 2023.
  16. ^ Wu, Cheng-hsua. "中職/是否正名台灣聯盟?蔡其昌這樣說". NOWnews. 今日傳媒(股)公司. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved 2021-12-12.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 January 2024, at 13:46
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