History of baseball in Taiwan
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Baseball was introduced to Taiwan by Japan after China ceded control of the island to Japan in 1895. Initially played only by Japanese colonial administrators, by the 1920s interest in the sport spread across the island with games between Taiwanese natives and Japanese immigrants becoming common. In 1931, the Chiayi School of Agriculture and Forestry took second place in the Pan-Japanese High School Yakyu Tournament.
Following World War II and the reassertion of Chinese control over Taiwan, baseball became marginalized in popularity because of its association with Japan. But along with post-war stability during the 1950s and 1960s, interest in baseball rebounded with the spread of amateur and youth baseball teams. Between 1969 and 1982, Taiwan won 13 Little League World Series championships.
In 1990, the Chinese Professional Baseball League (中華職棒聯盟) was formed, bringing professional baseball to the country for the first time. In 1997, however, a gambling scandal sent the CPBL into disrepute. Following the scandal, the Taiwan Major League (臺灣大聯盟) was launched, splitting the audience for baseball. For the 2003 season, the two leagues agreed to merge under the CPBL name. As of 2009, the league consists of the Brother Elephants, La New Bears, Sinon Bulls, and Uni-President Lions.
Baseball has become so entrenched in Taiwanese culture that it is even depicted on the NT$ 500 note.
Taiwan in international baseball
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