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History of baseball in China
01/25/2006 8:30 PM ET
1863: Establishment of the Shanghai Baseball Club.

1872: The Qing Court sends a team of 30 male students to the United States to study, as part of the "self-strengthening movement." This group of students accepts American culture and forms the "Oriental Baseball Club."

1879: Sun Yat-sen, at 12 years of age, moves to Hawaii to live with his brother. This future Chinese revolutionary learns baseball there, and later uses his knowledge of the sport to reach political means.

1881: Because of "over-Americanization," Chinese students abroad were called back to China. On the way back home they stop in San Francisco and accept a challenge from the Oakland baseball club.

1895: Three universities in China, Beijing Huiwen University, Shanghai St. John's University and Beijing Tongzhou University, all organize baseball activities.

1905: On May 2, a group of students from the Shanghai St. John's University and the Shanghai YMCA Baseball Club meet, with St. John's University coming out on top, winning the first baseball game played in mainland China.

1907: The first official intercollegiate baseball tournament is played in Beijing between Tongzhou University and Huiwen University.

1911: On the eve of the Chinese Revolution, revolution leader Sun Yat-sen organizes a baseball club in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province. The Changsha Baseball Club mainly serves as a cover for military training, teaching young soldiers how to throw grenades.

In the same year, the Chinese Overseas Baseball Club is established in Hawaii. The team beats the New York Giants in an exhibition game in San Francisco.

1914: An American missionary, Willard L. Nash, a physics department chair of Suzhou University, organizes a sports club for the six Huadong area universities. St. John's University wins the championship in the first year. The league expands to eight teams in 1920, and the tournaments are played until 1925.

1915: China participates in the first Greater Asia baseball match in Shanghai, taking second place to the Philippines.

1932: With Japan invading the northeastern part of the Chinese mainland, a battle between Japan and China erupts on a different field. Two teams from the American Pacific league play against each other, with a Chinese-American and a Japanese-American pivoted against each other as opposing starting pitchers. The starting pitcher for the Sacramento Senators is Hawaiian-born Japanese player Kenso Nushida, and the starting pitcher for the Oakland Oaks is a second-generation Chinese-American player, Li Genghong.

1941-1945: To protest prisoner concentration camps in a torn-apart Asia, baseball begins to flourish in U.S. and Japanese prison camps.

1959: Under the leadership of chairman Mao Tse-tung, military and civilian teams attend lessons on "Baseball in the New China". Soon afterwards, all teams are disbanded and baseball is outlawed as an "evil" western influence.

1975: After the Cultural Revolution fails, baseball begins its return in China.

1976: Hong Kong organizes a baseball league with all Chinese players.

1986: Under the direction of the Dodgers' Peter O'Malley, a baseball stadium in Tianjin is constructed.

1988: China coordinates the first Little League championship game with 11- and 12-year-old kids.

1996: A Japanese professional team comes to China for the first time and plays two scrimmage games with the Chinese team. The main stars of the 22-man Japanese team come from Nagoya's Chunichi Dragons and Kobe's Orix Buffaloes.

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