Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres Will Play Two Games in Beijing on March 15 and 16.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will meet in the first-ever Major League Baseball (MLB) games played in China on March 15 and 16. The event will be hosted by the China Baseball Association (CBA).
MLB China Series 2008, an unprecedented showcase for the sport of baseball in China, will be held at the 12,000-seat Wukesong Baseball Field in Beijing. The Wukesong Baseball Field will be the host venue for baseball during the 2008 Olympic Games.
Mar. 15 13:00 San Diego Padres Los Angeles Dodgers
Mar. 16 13:00 Los Angeles Dodgers San Diego Padres
“Major League Baseball’s international growth has been nothing short of remarkable, and we are thrilled that the Padres and the Dodgers will showcase our sport to the people of China by playing in MLB China Series 2008,” Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said from New York. “I would like to thank the Dodgers and the Padres, the Major League Baseball Players Association, the China Baseball Association, Wukesong Group and all the parties who have made this momentous trip possible. We are greatly anticipating this wonderful opportunity.”
“China is a leader in international sport, and we know from the enthusiasm and talent the Chinese team displayed in the World Baseball Classic that China may soon become a force to be reckoned with in baseball, too,” Donald M. Fehr, Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said from New York.
“We are honored that the China Baseball Association has invited us to share Major League Baseball with the people of China, and look forward with great anticipation to being in Beijing for these historic games."
Both the Dodgers and Padres franchises have international playing experience. Most recently, Los Angeles took on the New York Mets in a Mexico City exhibition series in 2003 and first established relations in China in 1980. The Club helped build the first practice field in Beijing and funded construction of a baseball stadium, named Dodger Stadium, in Tianjin, 75 miles southeast of the capital.
“The Dodgers’ ties to Asia date back more than half a century, so it’s only fitting that as we celebrate 50 years in Los Angeles, we are fortunate enough to take part in this historic series,” said Dodgers Owner and Chairman Frank McCourt. “The opportunities to expand this great game into China are limitless, and we hope this trip will solidify the Dodgers’ role at the forefront of the globalization of baseball.”
San Diego participated in the first-ever Opening Day game held outside of the United States and Canada in 1999, when they faced the Colorado Rockies in Monterrey, Mexico. The Padres also own the distinction of participating in the first-ever MLB regular season games held internationally, having played the Mets in Monterrey, Mexico in 1996.
“The San Diego Padres are honored to participate in the MLB China Series 2008,” said Padres Chief Executive Officer Sandy Alderson. “Considering the growing influence of foreign-born players in the game, and considering the potential growth of baseball in China, we are excited to introduce Major League Baseball to the people of China. To be part of this event is incredibly significant for our franchise.”