Wang: Succeeding in the States

September 07, 2006

Wang: Succeeding in the States

MLBPLAYERS.com_09/06/2006 9:25 AM ET

The success I'm having this year with the Yankees is big news back in Taiwan. Everybody is happy for me and they want to see me get more wins.

I'm just the third player born in Taiwan to play in the Major Leagues. There are more players back home who want to come to America. Everybody wants to try and play in the Major Leagues.

Chin-Feng Chen was the first player from Taiwan to play in the Major Leagues. He played two years for the Dodgers, beginning in 2002. That was a big deal in Taiwan. Everybody back home was very excited and very happy to see him here in the Major Leagues.

When I was growing up in Taiwan, I did not watch a lot of the Major Leagues on television. In Taiwan, more people watch Japanese and Korean baseball.

Back home, I pitched at a university, but I never dreamed of pitching in the Major Leagues. My goal was to pitch professionally in Taiwan. The pro league in Taiwan compares to the Minor Leagues here, but here you play more games.

I signed with the Yankees in 2000 and reached the Major Leagues in 2005. In the Minor Leagues, I practiced a lot and built up a lot of innings.

My English is getting better now that I've been playing here for six seasons. But when I first came here, I didn't speak any English. I watched a lot of movies and I tried to talk to my teammates to get better at it. I never felt lonely because I had a translator who took care of me.

Now, when I go back home, I try to bring back some of the lessons I've learned. I work a lot with the kids. I talk to them and show them mechanics. I show them the pitching motion.

Chien-Ming Wang, a Cy Young Award candidate with a 16-5 record and 3.69 ERA for the Yankees, attended Taipei College of Physical Education in his native Taiwan. Prior to making his debut with the Yankees in 2005, Wang helped pitch Taiwan to an Olympic berth in 2003 Asian Championships. He also earned MVP honors for Taiwan at the 2002 Asian Games.

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