Chinese Baseball Team Takes Over Texan Minor-League Club

Texans most likely haven’t heard the Chinese national anthem ringing out from the stands of their ballparks—until now. About 30 members of China’s national baseball team are part of a revolving roster for a professional team near Dallas, giving them game time and tougher opposition as they prepare for the Asian Games and 2020 Olympics. Chinese players make up about two-thirds of the expanded roster for the American Association team now formally known as the AirHogs powered by the Beijing Shougang Eagles. The Chinese Baseball Association made the arrangement with the AirHogs. The players appear to be having some trouble adjusting to the tougher U.S. leagues—the AirHogs are a league-worst 17-44 this season—but player-coach Na Chuang said the team has progressed faster than expected. Assistant Pitching Coach Kevin Joseph said: “The big need ... for China is they don’t play a lot of games. So for them to be able to come, and to learn the rhythm of a baseball lifestyle, play against better competition, has been a great experience. The players have really meshed well with the Chinese guys. They love them.”