By David Li, bostonese.com
Lowell, Mass., July 16, 2013, — When Tzu-WeI Lin and Jing-De Jhang met at the infield grass of LeLacheur Park a couple hours before the 5:05 PM game on July 14, they couldn’t stop joking with each other. Both are second year professional baseball players from Taiwan with infectious smiles. When the Sun set over the Merrimack River behind the ballpark in the evening, Jhang walked away with a bigger smile on his face as Jamestown Jammers shut out Lowell Spinners for a 1:0 victory.
Lin(right) and Jhang poses for a picture before the game. (photos by David Li)
The two fellow New York-Penn League players have a lot in common. Lin and Jhang started playing baseline as a third-grader in Taiwan, and both signed a MLB minor league contract right after graduation from high school in 2012. Both have passionate fan base in Taiwan, and both play key defense positions and bat left-handed. As starting shortstop for Lowell Spinners this season, Lin has played steady defense, and plays with the style that Dustin Pedroia once played at LeLacheur Park. At 5’11” and 220 lbs, Jhang’s favorite MLB players are the Molina brothers.
Jamestown Jammers starter Dovydas Neverauskas went for five scoreless innings, and Shane Carle finished the last four innings and earned the W. Jhang caught both pitchers who combined for the shutout. Lin and Jhang each had one hit. In the 9th inning, Danny Collins had a triple on a line drive to left fielder Kendrick Perkins, and then scored the only run of the game on Michael Fransoso’s double on a fly ball to center fielder Manuel Margot.
Lin bats in a July 3, 2013 game at LeLacheur Park(photo by David Li).
Lin and Jhang expressed their pleasure playing professional baseball in the US. “The speed is faster, and the games are well-organized,” said Lin. Jhang took the day off on July 13 when the 3-game series started.
When asked about what he missed most of Taiwan, Jhang replied: “the delicious vegetables I used to have all the time. I’m eating too much meat now.” Jhang’s younger brother is also playing baseball in Taiwan, and is expected to sing a minor league contract next year. Maybe many years from now, another minor league player will look up to the Jhang brothers.
On July 12, a poster featuring Lin was given out at Lowell Spinners Vs. Staten Island Yankees game. Tickets to Lowell Spinners games can be purchased at box office at LeLacheur Park (450 Aiken Street, Lowell, MA 01854) or online at: lowellspinners.com.
Game log for the July 14 game from milb.com: www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2013_07_14_jamasx_lowasx_1&t=g_log&sid=t558.