A world-wide victory

3:30, Sunday–Yankee Stadium
Well, the World Team ended up taking the US team 3-0. While there’s no cheering in the press box–auxiliary or not–I found myself rooting for World outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin (pronounced Chay-Shwan Lin), an outfield prospect with the low-A Greenville club.

On the first pitch he saw in the top of the seventh, he yanked it just inside the leftfield foul pole to give the World Team a 3-0 lead. In the top of the ninth, Lin gorked one into leftfield between the outfielder and shortstop.

Besides it being a no-no to cheer in the press box, he’s also a Boston farmhand. If the press wouldn’t have given me a dirty look, certainly the Yankees fans would have!

But seriously, Lin hails from Taiwan. Being of Taiwanese descent, I was excited to see Lin excel at this elite level, especially for a 19-year-old. Besides seeing top prospects from all over the minor-leagues, it still is eye-opening to see the number of countries now represented by players in baseball. It truly is an international sport these days.

The Latin American countries dominated the World Team’s population, but there was New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan and Curacao, as well.

In the Cubs’ farm system, we also have a Taiwanese player who is doing very well. Right-hander Hung-Wen Chen pitched 17 games for low-A Peoria and was promoted to high-A Daytona, posting a combined 2-4 record with a 3.24 ERA.

The crowd wasn’t sparse today but it wasn’t full; it was like an actual minor-league ballgame, where some empty seats are to be expected. You just don’t see the New York City subway rolling along in Corpus Christi, Texas or Erie, Mich.

A couple of other players looked really impressive: Right-hander Henry Rodriguez, an Oakland A’s farmhand, struck out the side after walking his first batter. Pumping 99-100 mph minimum, no USA batter did more than flick a foul tip….Chris Getz, a White Sox farmhand and Wisconsin native, made a terrific play at second, saving a run.

A chorus of boos rained down from the Yankees fans because the Boston farmhand Lin turned out to be the Game’s MVP! You know it’s just not the Yankees year when something like that happens….With his interpreter, Lin said he was “nervous” and “just happy to be at the Game and to get a good pitch to hit.”

Two-hour and 44 minutes later, the World Team had surrendered just three hits, winning 3-0. And as Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” blared over Yankee Stadium’s loudspeakers, I headed out.

–Mike Huang

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