Chang's 'biggest hit' resounds in China

Ray Chang hailed the biggest hit of his life after his two-run single secured China's win over Brazil and a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, a result which looks set to boost the sport in the country.

Shortstop Chang, who also starred at the tournament's last edition in 2009, stepped up with China trailing 1-2 in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, and fired left to make it 3-2. China eventually won the game late on Tuesday 5-2.

"No doubt, that was the biggest hit of my life," said the Kansas City-born minor leaguer.

"I've played seven or eight years of professional baseball. I've had some clutch hits in my career, but nothing like this. This is not just for a Single-A, Double-A team. This is for an entire country," said Chang.

The win propelled China to third place in Pool A and a guaranteed berth in 2017, even though they failed to join Japan, Cuba, Taiwan and the Netherlands in the second round. The final round will be played in San Francisco later this month.

Kansas City-born Chang, 29, was also the hero in 2009, killing a Japanese third-base runner with a disguised throw to home base, and scoring a homer and two more runs in China's first ever Classic victory, a 4-1 win over Taiwan.

"They both were big games for the country. You can't really say one was bigger than the other. This was just now. It seems a lot bigger now, just because it's in the moment," Chang said.

China's head coach John McLaren said the upset win over Brazil was "just a great feeling".

"I've worked with these kids since September in 2011, and just how far we've come is incredible. I congratulated the team and I told them to go home and tell everybody in China what a great feeling it is to play baseball and spread the word."

Major League Baseball (MLB) Asia vice president Jim Small has previously called for a player who can increase the sport's popularity in China, where it was banned during the Cultural Revolution.

Former LA Dodgers pitcher Hideo Nomo ignited the MLB for Japanese fans in 1995, a trend followed by Ichiro Suzuki and Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish. Japan are two-time defending champions of the World Baseball Classic.

In China, successful athletes have also made a huge difference for their sports. Li Na's 2011 French Open win was the trigger for a push for tennis events in the country, with five on the Women's Tennis Association schedule for next year.

Despite his success, Chang was unsure if he'd be selected again in 2017.

"I hope they ask me back. I would be honoured and blessed to play for team China once again," said Chang.

McLaren said: "Ray, I'm sure you're going to be on the team, you've won the last two (Classic victories for China). I don't know about me, but I'm pretty sure you're a lock."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines accuses China of turning water cannon on its fishing boats

    Filipino activists denounced China's coast guard on Tuesday for turning water cannon on Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters, near where hundreds of Filipino and American Marines landed on a beach in a mock assault. The presidential palace in Manila said China's coast guard used water cannon on Monday to drive away a group of Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, damaging some of their wooden boats. …

  • U.S. says if China used water cannons on Philippine boats, would be provocative'

    The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that if reports that China used water cannon son Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters are accurate, it would be a provocative step. Filipino activists have accused China's coast guard of turning water cannons on civilian boats in the disputed area on Monday. …

  • Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash
    Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash

    Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears. Pacmania is sweeping the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. Of course, it's the fight of the century," Manila film producer Lucky Blanco told AFP. …

  • ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’
    ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’

    The Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong believes that the “racist” statement of legislator Regina Ip against Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong is not reflective of the general sentiments of the Hong Kong community. Hong Kong is home to more than 173,00 Filipinos working mostly as household service workers. “They have left their loved ones back home to earn a decent living taking care of Hong Kong families. This, in turn, has engendered positive impact on both the quality of life …

  • SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low
    SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low

    “The Aquino administration is firmly determined to carry on and complete priority programs in all five pillars of the Philippine development plan, to ensure that reforms will be sustained by strengthened public institutions, to tread the righteous path and ensure that good governance becomes the norm at all levels of government, and to sustain and make permanent the gains from the transformation of mindsets and institutions,” Coloma added. Lawmakers expressed belief yesterday that the Aquino …

  • ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation
    ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation

    Manny Pacquiao’s face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses, and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero’s “fight of the century” nears. Pacmania is sweeping the nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. …

  • House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP
    House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP

    The House ad hoc committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will put police forces in the envisioned new autonomous Muslim region under the Philippine National Police (PNP), and not under the regional chief minister. “We will delete the provision in the draft BBL giving the chief minister operational, administrative and disciplinary control over police forces in the region,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, committee chairman, said in a television interview. He said under …

  • Phl to seek more US military aid
    Phl to seek more US military aid

    The Philippines said yesterday it would soon ask the United States for more military equipment and training to build its defenses, as it faces Chinese “aggressiveness” in disputed waters. As hundreds of Filipino and American Marines simulated an amphibious assault to reclaim territory from invaders during annual war games, Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said he was drafting a “wish list” for US aid. Catapang said the Philippines would ask for “equipment and training” when …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options