This article starts in tiger sniff young content official account "can not escape a suction" (ID:huxiu4youth). Here, we present the face, story and attitude of the present young people.
In the pungent afternoon sun in Arizona, the first baseman, Yongkang, stood on the hit zone surrounded by white lines. At this point the two went out and no one was on the base. The pitcher of the Cincinnati Reds was prepared for a long time, but he still cast a poor quality straight ball. Yan Yongkang seized the gap and immediately slammed the first hit of the Milwaukee Brewers in this game.
Yan Yongkang hits the game
This is a training game at the Milwaukee Brewers' Arizona Spring Training Base. The competition is not rigorous. Both coaches can discuss the extension or end of the game at any time. Zhao Lun and Yi Jian are also watching the game with us - the other two players who were selected to the brewers this year. They have no competition today. They are waiting for Yong Yongkang to return to the apartment together, occasionally in the empty audience. Walk around and throw the hit ball back into the field.
On February 27 this year, a MLB was held in Beijing, also born in 2001, less than 18 years old, Jolon Zhao, Ian Yi and Coco Kou and the United States. The Major League Baseball Milwaukee Brewers signed, and they went to the United States to work with the team.
The road to the big league
The day before, Yan Yongkang, Yi Jian and Zhao Lun together with us, saw a real big league game: Arizona home team Arizona rattlesnake, at home Chase Fields against the rivals of the same district San Diego Padres.
In conjunction with the MLB official documentary "The Road to the Grand Alliance" and the media interview, the staff of the Diamondbacks opened up the stadium office, the relay station and some of the locker rooms to visit.
In the end, our group of people also got into the stadium and, together with the lucky fans, visited the two teams before the game. When the rattlesnake's star pitcher, Zack Greinke, who is known as the "G-God", passed by in front of us, because happiness was too sudden, she did not react at the moment.
But the brightest star on the spot was the visiting team's Manny Machado (Manny Machado). In a white training suit. When he showed up, the little fans on the sidelines shouted his name, and he waved with a smile. On February 19 th, he signed a 10-year $300 million contract with the faculty, making him one of the most profitable athletes in the world.
It can be said that Machado is the ultimate ideal of all baseball players, including these three small Chinese players. Zhao Lun, the joker among the three, once joked with Yi Jian: "when do you think we can get $300 million for 10 years?"
The journey of this dream will be very long. I used to write in a book "Baseball, the strange sport that Chinese people are most familiar with":
Here is a brief introduction to the MLB alliance system: the major league is the highest arena of the MLB team, followed by 3A, 2A, 1A, short-term 1A and newcomers. The vast majority of Chinese signing players are younger and still in the Newcomers.
At every level, they have to work hard at Superman, and even the most talented players usually have to fight in minor leaguers for two or three years to have a place in Major League. In spring training and extended spring training, all three get up at 5 o'clock in the morning and begin to train in intensity after breakfast. First warm up, then on the court training, followed by strength training, until noon. If there is a game in the afternoon, leave with the team after lunch. If you don't have it, you can rest.
"the agency said it would give us a PS4, but it hasn't delivered it yet."
Pitcher Zhao Lun is by far the most popular young Chinese player. He can throw balls at 95 miles an hour and now ranks 26th in the farm potential system of baseball data site FanGraphs-it doesn't seem to be high. But take into account that Zhao Lun is under the age of 18 and that this is the first time a Chinese pitcher has made the list. His curly ball is thought to have the potential of 70 points (full score 80), which is of great significance in actual combat.
But even so, Zhao Lun still felt a lot of pressure in training and competition. He was the first of three to come to the United States and had to concentrate hard in the past few months to catch up with the progress of the training. Another pitcher, who has been in the United States for less than two months, said more bluntly about the pressure on the team:
"When I first came, I saw the Latin American players on the team. It looked like they wouldn’t play, but they really picked up the stick and played farther than anyone else."
In the constant adaptation and improvement, they walked from the imaginary American baseball to the real American baseball. In fact, compared with the players in Latin America, these young players in China have already prepared a lot before landing on the MLB system. But cultural shocks will still exist, and they will still have a difficult period of adaptation.
For Chinese players, it’s only a few years since they left their hometown to play baseball in the United States. Before the three joined the brewers, it has already joined the MLB minor league system by Itchy Xu, Sea Gong, Justin Qiangba and Bruce Wang.
This situation has long been used to Latin American players, and has even developed into an industry and life plan. All the stories they have experienced are lessons learned from the small Chinese players.
According to the latest figures from MLB officials, there are more than 251 overseas players in the Major League this season, from 20 different countries, 102 of them from a country that we may not be able to find on the map.
Born in the middle class and raised in Santo Domingo, the capital, New York metropolitan player Jose Batista (Jose Bautista) once wrote an article about The Cycle, detailing the motivations and dilemmas of Dominicans to play in the United States.
He wrote: In a country where the economy is not developed, baseball is not only a hobby, but also an industry. A way to improve life and achieve class transition. So there are a lot of "baseball schools" in Dominica. The major league teams have a training base in the local area. They will select the outstanding children to join, and after another round of screening, they will enter the American minor league.
"they think the name is like a school, but it's actually more like a baseball concentration camp farm. After your family signs the consent form, you only do two things here: playing baseball and sleeping. No books, no computers, no old TV. Before you were in your teens, your education was over, and you barely knew anything but baseball. "
Batista said that regardless of the education, the Latin American players have a huge impact on the culture behind the United States. They can’t understand what the coach said, they can’t integrate into the team, and they can’t even make a call. Pizza. Poor communication makes these players who are far away from home often misunderstood that they are lazy and arrogant.
But for them, there is no choice but to go to the country to play baseball. In Dominica, an elite group with four years of undergraduate degree in business school, even if they have a good managerial job at the bank, they can only get every month. A salary of $1,500. Playing baseball, even a small league baseball, will be much higher than this level.
Many successful cases have been born over the years. Pedro Martínez, who is known as the "right hand of God", will practice the rich and lead the rich, and go home to build the church. But this is, after all, very rare. Even among the Dominican players who have been selected to the United States, only about 3% can enter the major league.
For those who didn't end up playing the Hall of Fame, the end of the world was miserable. Back home and only baseball, they don't have the boss, and they will form a cycle of poverty.
This trap does not happen only in Dominica. In China, the great reason why parents dare not send their children to learn sports is to worry that if they are unable to get out due to lack of talent or injury, they will eventually become a “waste person” with the ruin of academics. Even if the poor families in Dominica are still willing to let their children take the risk of becoming baseball slaves, if the problem does not improve, sooner or later, the United States will be criticized.
So now MLB began to improve the education of players in all regions of the world through the efforts of the Alliance - the Arizona Diamondbacks are providing high school education opportunities for players who work in the Dominican training center. When we visited the Brewers Training Center, we saw many Latin American players returning to the classroom after the training.
In China, MLB uses the “Development Center” model to select the best players and avoid what happened in Dominica, making the baseball players' careers more smooth – even if they didn’t become a professional player.
They from the China Development Center
Zhao Lun, Yi Jian and Kou Yongkang used to be sports school students from different regions. They had to join the MLB Baseball Development Center in China and became linked to a sports school called playball! A game in the Youth Baseball League. The youth baseball program, launched by MLB in 2007, has become a stepping stone for young Chinese baseball players to enter the MLB stage.
PlayBall! The Youth Baseball League is planned to be divided into high-level and low-order game lines. The higher level of the playball! The Youth Baseball League now has 42 teams across the country, of which six of the best teams will gather in Nanjing for the National Finals called the Diamond Cup. On the other hand, MLB Junior playball for the wider youth! It is also launched in more than 11 cities across the country in spring and autumn. More than 180 teams will play more than 600 games.
MLB officials will send professional coaches and scouts at the playball! Junior baseball league plans to select talented, but also love baseball players to join the development center, and further cultivate.
When MLB created the development center model in China, it already took into account the problem of education. Take the development center of Nanjing for example, the development center is built with Nanjing Dongshan Foreign language School. Among them, MLB guarantees a training major: they have an experienced team of coaches whose head coach is Zhang Baoshu, a Chinese national team coach who has played for the WBC classic match on behalf of the Chinese team and has also been coach of the Chinese baseball U21 national team. At the same time, the Development Center provides small players with the opportunity to participate in high-level foreign games, allowing them to accumulate experience and recognize their strengths, but also give MLB teams scouts more opportunities to learn about them.
Relying on Dongshan Foreign language School, the cultural class after training has not fallen behind-especially English education. Before the three players came to the United States, they had already had the English foundation of high school level, and they were also prepared for American culture and life.
Of course, as soon as they leave the country, they still have to face the gap. On the one hand, they must gradually adapt to the transition from "chicken head" to "phoenix tail" in competition: from the top players in the same age group in China to the backward students in the small league.
On the other hand, cultural shocks in all aspects come far more than they think. Although it may not be a problem to order pizza, communication with coaches, communication with teammates, changes in life in the United States, and loneliness from leaving homes are not Simple spoken English can be solved.
The coach and staff of the development center, such as Chief coach Zhang Baosu, regularly talk to three players on the phone and give some psychological and technical counseling. But after all, it is hard to quench thirst from far water. The person who really helped the three people adapt to the team most directly came from a former classmate of the development center.
Born in Taiwan, Su Baihao, like Zhao Lun, is a student at the MLB Nanjing Baseball China Development Center. After graduating in 2017, he came to Glendale Community College to study and play ball and looked for opportunities to challenge NCAA and even MLB. But last year, his ankle suffered a serious injury and his dream suddenly became far away.
"At that time, I thought, I can play from going to the big league and adjusting to working for the big league team."
In his view, Zhao Lun, Yi Jian and Kou Yongkang encountered the same difficult problems as many students when they first came to the United States. Even if English has a certain foundation, but from one culture to another, there will always be feelings of outsiders, so at first there will be exclusion and discomfort. But if someone can help them complete the narrow door of the transition, they can gradually blend in.
Su Baihao played this role, but in fact he hesitated at first: will it be farther and farther away from his baseball dream as an interpreter?
At this time, his mentor and former coach of the Chinese national team, Jimmy Johnson (Jimmy Johnson), told him: "apart from you, who else in the world knows how to speak Chinese, speak English, play baseball, know baseball?" I used to stay at the Nanjing Development Center (so I met Zhao Lun) and now I live in Arizona. "
Su Baihao and Zhao Lun
Now, his work has borne fruit: Zhao Lun, Yi Jian and Kou Yongkang have basically integrated into the team. Perhaps their English is still astringent, but they have dared to communicate with the coach and the staff on the court. All three are optimistic that they will get better and better in the coming season and strive to achieve their goal of upgrading.
After Su Bohao completed the task of helping them to integrate, he also got unexpected new opportunities because of the experience of this interpreter translation: Los Angeles Dodgers valued his ability in Chinese and English and his understanding of baseball, and gave him the official form of the team. The offer of the staff.
Together, these graduates from China's MLB Baseball Development Center show the cruelty and tenderness of the baseball world: only a handful of children with baseball dreams can become professional baseball players. But baseball gives each participant a sense of teamwork, the courage to move on, and all sorts of inadvertent help.
"Our goal is of course mostly on baseball, but the most important thing, but also the goal we are working on, is that when these small players graduate, they either continue the baseball path or go to college, regardless of What is it, we can teach them to be a good young person and help them face the future."
This is the training goal of China's MLB Development Center in Zhang Baoshu's description. To some extent, this should also be baseball, or all sports, the real meaning of young people.
* The article is the independent view of the author, does not represent the position of the tiger sniffing net. This article was published by Green Sugar authorized Tiger Sniff Network and edited by Tiger Sniff Network. Reprint this article with the author's consent, and please attach the source (虎 sniffing net) and the link on this page. Original link: https://www.huxiu.com/article/299321.html
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