Baseball anyone? The company graciously bought us American Major League Baseball tickets played right here in Beijing. On March 12, and 13, 2008, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres will play squared off. We had a whole contingent from work who attended the Sunday game. The Saturday game was called off as a tie 3-3. Sunday, the Dodgers sprang out into the lead at 3-0 but lost it in the later innings at 6-3.

Weather was cool…fifties with lots of wind. The pitchers didn’t have water…coffee in the bullpen.

The stadium where the games were played will be used for the Olympics. Located right at subway, I took the train after Sunday Mass. Our workers were bussed. We had seats on the left field foul line. I had a great view of the foul line pole. As I walked from the train, there were many folks asking me if I needed tickets. We were warned to carry the jackets sold with the tickets as there would be many counterfeit tickets being sold. My ticket was scanned the a female gave me a very thorough frisking for forbidden objects and devices. I had none so I got in. There were official souvenir shops, pitching cages for the spectators to try their luck, and porta-potties brought in for just this occasion (but nothing to wash the hands). Our workers and office has very close ties to a nearby restaurant owned by an American. His restaurant was catering the game. We were dreaming of hot dogs but I got to the counter and drooled over the concessions…BBQ beef, hot dogs, burgers…all that baseball food.

I ordered a dogs…BBQ beef…nope…only burritos…rats! For two burritos, a can of coke, and a bag of chips…eleven dollars…try that in the USA. Beers were sold in the can for about a buck and a quarter. I found my hot dog around the stadium near my seat…a bun like French bread with mustard…eating meant taking care the meat wouldn’t launch into the lap of your neighbor…hey…baseball…what the heck! There were no trash cans. We had a maid who came up and down the aisle with a trash bag to collect your discarded items. Each seat had a paper identification tag in Chinese characters taped to it. Players were announced in Chinese…he wasn’t the third baseman, he played “San (three) base”. They even had female cheerleaders shaking their pompoms and doing dance routines. The between the inning entertainment didn’t seem to go over well. “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch was sung twice but the animated race around the stadium for the hotdog condiments shown on the jumbotron fell flat. Programs had some English but mostly Chinese. Thunder sticks and programs were complimentary. Too bad I left my knife at home!

Hu Chin-Lung got the most applause because of his Chinese origin. He’s a young Taiwanese Dodger player. He got the first hit (and subsequent) first run. I only recognized the coach of the Dodgers.

It was preseason play. I didn’t care. I love baseball and I was simply floored that I was in China watching a live baseball game in person. When I’m in the US, I try and see as many baseball games as I can. Here, I didn’t have to travel.

The Star-Spangled Banner was sung by a local school choir. A couple of players made an in-person appearance at that school giving tips to the baseball team, giving souvenirs, and signing autographs for the students and parents. It was a rush! Screw the steroid BS you see on the tube. These folks are heroes to this boy looking for a bit of Americana!

Bluelou does Baseball In Beijing!

Beijing's Olympic Baseball Stadium

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