Coach of Tiger Wang Gary Lavelle visited the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on 13th in Deputy Mayor Xiao’s company. Gary was impressed with the brand-new facilities and excellent eyesight of the stadium, saying that it measured up to international levels, therefore, it should attract a number of baseball audiences if MLB has games in Taichung City.
In Gary’s visit, the Department of Economic Development of Taichung City Government briefed him on the stadium’s information, such as the installation of a canopy over the infield, the outsourced seating of the outfield, which currently amounts to 15 thousand, and will be 20 thousand when finished, and the bullpen. Each facility is up to international standards. Later under Xiao’s guidance Gary looked around the rest room, bullpen and baseball field.
Gary said Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium fully measured up to international levels and was a very impressive stadium. American baseball lovers are innumerable, so a stadium, on average, is equipped with 40 thousand seats. However, for Taiwan 20 thousand seats are enough. Other than that, after the trip to the bullpen Gary considered Taichung Stadium brand-new given some old ones he had seen. However, he said, the pillars of the bullpen should be coated by foam, to prevent players from getting hurt by a practicing pitchers’ rebounds against the concrete pillars. Players are the main assets of the team, so their safety must be secured.
As to the rest room and the field, Gary thought they were all fine, particularly the massage room, nursing room and batting room that are necessary for professional baseball teams. The home run line is set at 400 feet, the global standard, with the exception of the New York Yankee’s exclusive 420 feet. A pitcher loves the long homerun line, but the audience loves the shorter one. If homeruns are plentiful, spectators will be more likely to attend games.
However, the height of the grass was over the red track and Gary warned that this might endanger the fields. Sometimes the outfielders do not mind the grass while trying to catch fly balls, but they may stumble over the protruding grass, therefore this problem should be addressed. All the rest facilities are very good.
Deputy Mayor Xiao welcomed Gary’s enthusiastic visit to Taichung and welcomed his understanding attitude toward the development of Taiwanese baseball, and indicated that he would like to have Gary see several Taiwanese baseball teams, including the Xiyuan High School youth baseball team and the Xinong professional baseball team, and their coaches. Deputy Mayor Xiao thought that learning from different coaches could benefit the development of Taiwanese baseball. Gary had been a baseball player in America for decades and has been a coach in Minor League Baseball for several years, so he would have many experiences and knowledge worthy of being learned. Gary himself mentioned his hopes to observe young baseball player’s games. Since the training of the young is top priority, so he would love to instruct Taiwan, if necessary.