Hawkins part of MLB trip to Taiwan
Brewers fans should keep an eye on MLB.com in the coming days for Doug Miller’s coverage of the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series, a goodwill trip by Major Leaguers including free agent reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who spent the past two seasons with the Brewers. Hawkins was not listed on the league’s original roster for the trip, but somewhere along the way, he joined the ride.
Miller is along, too, and wrote of the group’s arrival in Taiwan City on Sunday evening.
As players walked through the Taoyuan International Airport concourse, they were received by adoring fans who snapped photographs, took video and cheered them on — often chanting their names.
This continued at the Grand Hyatt in Taipei City, where a contingent that included the mayor and local baseball officials made it through a lobby packed with fans to a ballroom where the official greeting news conference took place.
Manager Bruce Bochy, sluggers Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson and Hawkins answered questions graciously. MLB Asia vice president Jim Small and MLB Players Association representative Tim Slavin also presented Washington Nationals jerseys emblazoned with the uniform No. 100 to local officials to honor the 100th anniversary of the Grand Old Game in Taiwan.
“After all these years waiting, we finally have Major League All-Stars in Taiwan, where we are so passionate,” said Peng Cheng-hao, vice president of the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association, in his opening statements. And soon after he spoke, the mayor of New Taipei City, Dr. Eric Liluan Chu, admitted to being a bit starstruck by the two Bronx Bombers in attendance, Granderson and Cano.
“I am the No. 1 fan of MLB because I lived in New York for seven years, so of course I am a fan of the Yankees,” he said. “Baseball is the national sport of Taiwan. Everyone in Taiwan likes baseball very much. … So today is a new start for Taiwan.” …
As for Hawkins, expect him to scout the local noodle parlors, hot-pot shops and night markets for fresh local cuisine.
“Everyone talks about the food here and I like to eat, so that’s one of the things I’m going to do. Stinky tofu. I want to try that,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins has been Tweeting about his trip, and fans can follow him @Adidas219.
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