WBSC 2019 Fed of the Year: Chinese Taipei Baseball Association
It was an extra-ordinary season both off and on the field for the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association.
After capturing world titles in the U-12 and U-18 categories, and winning the Asian Baseball Championship in 2019 - and helping to launch the new $130 million home of the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup - the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA) was recognized as baseball federation of the year at the WBSC Individual Awards Presentation in Sakai City, Japan.
Chinese Taipei, who first appeared on the international scene at the 1972 Amateur World Series while the federation was created in 1973, won the U-12 Baseball World Cup earlier this year, defeating Japan in front of a 8,000-fan sold-out crowd at the Tainan Asia-Pacific International Baseball Stadium.
In a collaboration between the city of Tainan and CTBA, the $130 million USD facility was specifically built to host five editions of the U-12 Baseball World Cup, having been awarded the hosting rights by WBSC through 2027.
“Over the years, CTBA has grown into one of baseball’s true leaders, both in competing in and hosting international events,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “The remarkable results in 2019 and being named federation of the year are a reflection of the excellent work CTBA is doing to contribute to baseball’s worldwide growth while keeping our sport number one in Taiwan.”
The 2019 U-12 Baseball World Cup final was broadcasted live across the island by Videoland, the biggest sports broadcaster. Chinese Taipei's win generated a social media buzz, highlighted by the island’s highest elected official, Tsai Ing-wen, sharing her congratulations to the Chinese Taipei players across her millions of followers on Facebook and Twitter.
Chinese Taipei beat the four-time defending champions USA, 2-1, in the final of the U-18 Baseball World Cup played in Busan, Korea. The announcement that Chinese Taipei were the newly crowned U-18 World Champions after their 2-1 victory smashed the record for WBSC’s most-liked Facebook post. Videoland broadcasted the final live.
The current world No. 4 also won the Asia Baseball Championship 2019, defeating the defending Champions Japan, 5-4, at Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung. Chinese Taipei finished second in the last four editions and hadn’t won the Asia Baseball Championship since 2001.
The CTBA hosted in Taichung and Taoyuan Group B of the WBSC Premier12 2019. It took only 30 minutes to sell out the 20,000-seat Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung for the highly anticipated game between the hosts and Samurai Japan. Japan defeated Chinese Taipei, 8-1, but the hosts shut out Venezuela, 3-0, and outscored Puerto Rico, 6-1, to advance to the Super Round.
However, Chinese Taipei had mixed results during the Super Round. After suffering a 2-0 loss against Mexico in the opener, they went on to beat Korea, 7-0. They lost then, 3-2, a thriller against the USA, but came back to defeat Australia, 5-1, in the last game of their Super Round and finished fifth overall.
The season will begin early for Chinese Taipei as it hosts the Final Olympic Qualifier from 1 to 5 April 2020 in Taichung and Dou Liou with the hope it can qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games while there's no letting up in 2021, as Taiwan will host the fourth edition of the highest decision making body of the WBSC - the World Congress.