Thursday, January 05, 2006

RIP Rod Dedeaux

I was saddened to hear that USC baseball coaching legend Rod Dedeaux passed away today. I had the honor of meeting him this past summer. Not only was he a giant in the US collegiate ranks, but he was a goodwill ambassador for the international game of baseball. I had the good fortune of watching the Taiwanese NT play this summer in Southern Cal thanks in part to Mr. Dedeaux's connections and his willingness to see the game become a bridge for different nations and cultures to share a common interest.

RIP Rod Dedeaux. You will be missed dearly.


JiaYou said...

Thanks for posting that. I have heard his name in reference to the ballpark, and on occasion. He's done a lot for the game.

On the subject of college baseball, I am curious as to why there has yet to be a pipeline set up for Taiwanese players to get over here.

This is something that I have been interested in for a couple of years now.

As a former college player (I played 2 years of JC ball, and then 2 years at a Univ. club), I saw a sort of influx of Japanese players come through the Junior College programs. The JC level can afford some amazing opportunities to some talented international players, without the TOEFL requirements set at the University level.

In the summer of 2004, I played in a kind of semi-pro type of league in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Our team was an interesting mix, with a couple of 30-something former Taiwanese national junior olympians, former college players, and some who didn't play much after their teens. I couldn't help but think how some of those guys could have ran circles around some of us Americans, even at the college level. One of our pitchers was pulled off the city junior team. He was 14 years old, 6'2", and he was throwing about 79....Talent like that needs a better platform (although the scouting situation in Taiwan IS changing rapidly).

The fact that Taiwan has a history of incredible youth baseball programs that have produced relatively little professional output has nothing to do with genetics, or whatever...It has to do with opportunities....And I think it would be awesome to see some of those kids over here soon.

TheTaiwaneseTerror said...

There are many factors as to why Taiwanese kids don't come to the US for college ball:
1)Language/Cultural barrier
2)Money - why go to school when you can sign a pro contract in the US or Japan. The top notch talent sign huge bonuses. Also it is very expensive to study and live here in the US - even with a full ride scholarship
3)Academics is not a priority for some of these kids

I agree with you though; I would love to see them develop here as well.