The idea to go to Hong Kong came into my mind a little more than a year ago. Unfortunately it took quite a while to make it happen. The flight to Hong Kong was no joke as I wasn’t able to recover from the Jetlag until the last day of my stay. Being tired didn’t keep me from making amazing experiences and meeting awesome people.
The road trip started on the 11th December and ended on the 18th December. Not much time to see anything, but I had a great book to read with me, called “Die Chinesen – Psychogramm einer Weltmacht” that is all about the culture, history, morals, relationships and much more. I read on the plane, at the airport (13 hours layover in Paris), in the hotel room and basically anywhere I went, the book was in my backpack.
Kenneth Chiu, whom I mentioned earlier in one of my posts, picked me up on Thursday evening from the airport in Hong Kong and thentook me out to eat. The food was crazy delicious and I am going to leave it at that. Kenneth was one of two people who helped making the most of my stay in Hong Kong. The other was Ken, also a former Berlin Flamingos player/coach, who took me out to eat as well, to a different place and it was as delicious as the time I went out with Kenneth. I can’t thank both of them enough for making me feel at home in Hong Kong, their hospitality has been the real deal.
What is Baseball like in Hong Kong? This question was one of my key motivators to go there. The Hong Kong International Baseball Open 2019 was an event with 6 Teams that was really well organized and was held during my stay. From the opening ceremony to the closing presentation, the ground crew, the p&r, social media, the players apparel, and everything related to this event was on point.
I also got to watch the youth play ball at two different ballparks. It was fun to see the kids and their parents at the ballpark, like I see it in Germany on a regular weekend during the season… Looking through the chainlink fence parents, players, and coaches came by and said hello and introduced themselves. So did Herman whose son played in the Outfield and we got into talking about being a parent and a coach. He told me about his philosophy and what rules he applied towards his kids. Number 1 the kids have to pick the sport themselves, based on their interest and level of fun. Number 2 they should try to become the best they can be in that sport. That was it! Simple but profound.
The level of play for the youth and seniors is very much comparable to the one we have in Berlin. The ballparks I have seen where very different from one another. The best field is the Sai Tso Wan Recreation Ground followed by Kowloon Tong, and then there is Wong Tai Sin, which reminds me of fields that I have played on for many years. What is really cool about #HKBaseball is the the weather, no pun intended! Year around Baseball is no problem as its usually around 20° Celsius at the lowest. Obviously there is a different strategical approach in Asian Baseball where the game is based more on speed than on power. Its not uncommon to see submarine pitchers coming out of Asia but not so much compared to the Western Hemisphere. Also the culture of the Asians is reflected in the team hierarchy and how players treat opponents, umpires, and coaches. So much play is involved in aspects of the game, that usually get little to no attention here.
In between Innings the bench players lineup next to the foulline and root their teammates on. Another oddity is that the players take a bow to the opponents before the game starts and after the game. I have seen similar from Japanese’s teams that came through Germany.
Overall having been to Hong Kong was a must. Every minute of my road trip I enjoyed, no matter how tired the jetlag made me. Looking forward to see Hong Kong and its people again soon… 2020!
Here is some Images of the road trip…