Expansion club Weichuan Dragons open camp as CPBL gets ready for its first-ever 5-team season

Expansion club Weichuan Dragons open camp as CPBL gets ready for its first-ever 5-team season
CPBL’s expansion team Weichuan Dragons opened their spring training camp at their minor league complex in Doulio, Yulin, on 1 February. The CPBL season will start on March 13th, as the defending champions Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions take on the CTBC Brothers in Tainan.

DOULIO, Taiwan -- Weichuan Dragons, one of the most storied franchises in Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) history, today opened their first spring training camp since 1999. With the Fubon Guardians, Brothers, Rakuten Monkeys and Lions already in training, the newly expanded league will open the season with five clubs for the first time in its history.

The Dragons originally debuted in 1990 as one of the founding franchises of CPBL, but withdrew from the league after the 1999 season, departing with a league-leading four championships at the time.

In 2019 the Dragons made their attempt to return to the league as their proposal was reviewed and approved by the executive council of the league. The Dragons then started their 2020 season in the minor league with former Dragons player (1996-1999) and former EDA Rhinos/Fubon Guardians manager Chun-Chang Yeh (2015-2018) at the helm, assisted by CPBL all-time homerun leader Tai-Shan Chang (also a former Dragon, 1996-1999) as hitting coach, and Jiong-Lung Huang (Dragons founding member 1990-1999) as outfield coach. The Dragons defeated the Brothers in the best-of-five minor league championship series with a 3-1 record, paving the path for the Dragons return to the major level.

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In addition to the alumni from the disbanded Dragons forming the core of coaching staff, the Dragons were able to acquire the service of former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Wei-Chung Wang as their ace. Wang will be the first player in CPBL history to have appeared in both MLB and the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) before playing in the CPBL. Wang is likely to be penciled to start their season opener as well as home opener. The Dragons will call Taipei’s Tianmu Baseball Stadium and Kaohsoung’s Cheng-Ching Lake Baseball Stadium their primary homefields before the completion of a brand-new Hsinchu Baseball Stadium by the end of the year.

Former Major League Baseball player of the Boston Red Sox Junichi Tazawa will also join the Dragons, making him the only player with a World Series ring on the team.

Official CPBL warm-up games will be held from 26 February to 10 March, for a total of 20 games among the five teams.

CPBL is an Associate Member of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).

Global Game