Chinese baseball needs a Yao Ming

Originally Published: March 7, 2005
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Before Chairman Mao banned baseball in 1960 in conjunction with China's Cultural Revolution, one of the nation's foremost military leaders theorized that the game was excellent training for the battle field. The skills used in throwing a baseball, Marshal He Long believed, could easily be applied to throwing a hand grenade.

And you thought Alex Rodriguez was playing rough when he dislodged that ball from Bronson Arroyo's glove in the ALCS last October.

Baseball returned to China in the mid-1970s, but the earnest Chinese athletes who are running sprints and shagging fly balls at Scottsdale Community College this spring aren't looking to re-write history.

They're just trying to make up for lost time.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer