Trophy tour continues in Beijing, Hong Kong
Yanks visit with Chinese baseball officials, US Embassy staff
The Yankees' World Series trophy tour continued on Wednesday through the streets of Beijing, as a contingent of club representatives showed off the prize in its first public appearance in China.
Yankees president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman and assistant general manager Jean Afterman were among those present as the trophy was displayed at the New World Department Store in Chongwen District.
The ceremony took place both indoors and outdoors, and included drummers, Chinese dragons, youth-league players and a commemorative hand-printing ceremony. The Yankees also met with members of the Chinese Baseball Association, with whom they have had a relationship since 2007.
"We feel we have a real obligation to try and develop baseball all over the world," Levine said. "We've had clinics where our coaches and instructors have visited China on two separate occasions. We've provided an extensive training manual which was prepared and shared by members of the CBA.
"We've provided all sorts of baseball equipment, from general equipment to high-level pitching machines, to the CBA. They've visited us, the CBA and their representatives, at Spring Training in Tampa and at Yankee Stadium. We've had a lot of telephone and other interactive discussions to keep communication going between the two organizations."
One of the two Chinese players signed by the Yankees in 2007, left-handed pitcher Kai Liu, was on hand for the news conference. The Beijing Yankees, 2009 winners of the first annual Diamond Cup -- the champions of Major League Baseball's "Play Ball" youth baseball program in China -- were also in attendance.
Earlier in the day, the Yankees brought the World Series trophy to the United States Embassy in Beijing for civilian and military staff to enjoy.
Cashman said that the international aspect of baseball reflects the importance of making the game available and prominent in additional countries.
"On our championship team this year, we had players from Mexico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Taiwan," Cashman said. "We have players all over the world that participated in this championship effort. We're very proud of that. These players, both American and foreign, came together in a Yankees uniform and did something very special for the city of New York and the Yankees fans worldwide by winning the World Series.
"What they also did, which was very special, they related with the community. This championship was both success on the field and off the field. Our players got heavily involved in the community in so many ways, so our fans had a chance to watch championship-caliber baseball and a chance to enjoy and get to know our players on a personal level."
The trophy moved on Thursday from Beijing Airport to Hong Kong, arriving on Delta Airlines at approximately 2 p.m. China Standard Time (13 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time). Upon arrival, fans greeted the trophy and the Yankees delegation.
On Friday, the trophy is scheduled to be displayed at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where fans will be able to enjoy the trophy in its final public appearance in Asia. The Hyatt Regency hotel will then host a brief press conference featuring the Yankees delegation and introducing the trophy to fans.
Additionally, Afterman will attend the opening ceremonies for the Hong Kong International Women's Baseball Tournament on Saturday morning, throwing out the event's first pitch.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.