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Asia Minute: Pro Baseball Championships Stretch to Asia

MIKI Yoshihito / Flickr
MIKI Yoshihito / Flickr
ElCapitanBSC / Flickr
Credit ElCapitanBSC / Flickr

While the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians battle it out for Major League Baseball’s crown, they’re far from the only baseball teams still on the field.  Despite the name of the “World Series” there are at least three other pro leagues playing for championships right now—in Asia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Wednesday was a big night for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.  They tied the Japan series at two games apiece with the Hiroshima Carp.  As with many Asian professional sports teams, the Hokkaido squad is named after a company—the food distributor Nippon Ham.  The Hiroshima Carp enjoy a solid fan base—ratings showed 60% of local televisions in use one night this week were tuned to the ballgame.  The opening pitch in Japanese professional baseball was tossed in 1934.

Pro baseball has a much shorter history in South Korea—starting in 1982.  This weekend, the defending champion Doosan Bears will square off against the NC Dinos in the Korean Series.  Doosan is an industrial conglomerate, while NC Soft is a videogame company.

Big League baseball started in Taiwan in 1989—with the Chinese Professional Baseball League.  The Taiwan Series is now deadlocked at two games apiece for the EDA Rhinos and the Chinatrust Brothers---whose mascot is an elephant.

And while the World Series in the United States may stretch to November—that’s the month for opening day down under—when the Brisbane Bandits start to defend their title in the Australian Baseball League.

Nick Yee’s passion for music developed at an early age, as he collected jazz and rock records pulled from dusty locations while growing up in both Southern California and Honolulu. In college he started DJing around Honolulu, playing Jazz and Bossa Nova sets at various lounges and clubs under the name dj mr.nick. He started to incorporate Downtempo, House and Breaks into his sets as his popularity grew, eventually getting DJ residences at different Chinatown locations. To this day, he is a fixture in the Honolulu underground club scene, where his live sets are famous for being able to link musical and cultural boundaries, starting mellow and building the audience into a frenzy while steering free of mainstream clichés.
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