One Step Closer: ABL to Join CPBL in 2019


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The Australian Baseball League’s (ABL) bid to join the CPBL as a fifth team continues to gain steam. Following a visit from the ABL’s CEO, Cam Vale, in November 2017, CPBL Commissioner, Wu Zhih-Yang, and Secretary General, Feng Sheng-Hsien made a trip down under to participate in the ABL Championship Series festivities this past week. The relationship between the ABL and CPBL is budding to say the least as the two leagues continue to bolster their ties.

Source: cpbl.com.tw

The CPBL provided a healthy boost to the ABL in 2018 with no fewer than six Taiwanese players in the league . Chinatrust Brothers’ Lin Chih-Sheng was pivotal in leading the Brisbane Bandits to the league’s first-ever three-peat. Fubon Guardian Chiang Chih-Hsien led the league in several offensive categories before departing early to join his new CPBL team and who will ever forget CPBL legend Chang Tai-Shan’s grand salami for the Adelaide Bite in what was most likely his last professional at-bat?

Source: cpbl.com.tw

So it comes as no surprise that Wu was invited to throw out the first pitch in game 2 of the ABL’s championship series. But perhaps more important was Wu and Feng’s meeting with Vale as both sides solidified the possibility of the ABL forming a fifth team to join the 4-team CPBL. According to reports from the CPBL, the ABL is prepared to submit a formal application and blueprint to the CPBL in May to join the CPBL in 2019. The proposal is to join minor league play in 2019 and after familiarizing themselves with league rules, umpires, and style of play, to join Taiwan’s top level of competition in 2020.
In addition to welcoming the ABL’s interest in joining the CPBL, Wu has also invited the ABL to join in on this year’s All-Star weekend and also possibly play an exhibition series between the two leagues’ championship teams. There are still a lot of hurdles to jump, the first of which is approval by the CPBL, but the future looks promising for a fifth team to join the league.

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