Mr. Wang and I are buddies. Not really, but I like to think so. I happened to be at his major league debut game on April 30, 2005 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Even better, we happened to have a-maz-ing seats and were surrounded by the players' friends and families, aka Wang's biggest Taiwanese fan club on that cloudy Saturday afternoon.
They sang songs in their native language for every strike thrown, and held up signs in fuddled English ("KKK Go Go Go - clearly an innocent, cultural misunderstanding, but humorous and entertaining all the same), and generally made the exciting game that much more colorful and spirited.
It was an excellent game, and it was so uplifting to watch the rookie starting pitcher do so well in his major league debut. His first pitch thrown was a strike, and though he recorded no decision (closer Mariano Rivera took the win), he received a standing ovation when he left in the 7th inning, and the Yankees won 4-3. I've loved the guy ever since.
Tomorrow, March 31st, 2008 at 1:05pm EDT, Chien-Ming Wang will start the final Opening Day at Yankee stadium, on his 28th birthday no less. I'm wishing him all the luck in the world. Unfortunately, I will not be able to watch due to reality and the need to work everyday, but you should tune in...and sing something in Taiwanese when he throws a strike for me pleaseee. :)
New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Monday, March 31st 1:05pm EDT