Guest Column: An International Perspective
by Kevin Dunn
Note from the editor: Kevin Dunn is a Cubs fan and blogger from Taiwan. He has agreed to write an article for Goat Riders regarding his love for the Cubs, how he came to root for them, and what it's like to follow the team on another continent.
As a Cubs fan in Taiwan, the only way I can watch the MLB games is through MLB.TV or some ESPN. I must say that it is completely different between watching a game in person rather than enjoy it from my screen in my small room. I think the MLB fans in Japan are more blessed because they have a bigger market for Mr. Selig, and that was why MLB sent the Yankees and Devil Rays to open their season in Japan last year.
Technology had impacted the fans in Taiwan pretty well. Why is that? In the early 90s, when the internet was not that popular, all we baseball fan could pay attention to was our own Taiwan League and Japanese League Baseball. But the MLB are filled with the most talented, skilful, and professional players, how can I miss out on that? My first MLB game on TV, the great Mad Dog Maddux was the pitcher for the Atlanta Braves during his prime. I did not know the Cubs very well at that time. The most popular teams in Taiwan are Yankees, the Braves, the RedSox, and probably the Giants and Mariners (mostly for Bonds and Ichiro).
The number of Cubs fans has grown hugely after 1998 home run race between Sammyyyyyy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Usually, when you ask a Taiwan Cubs fan why they worship the Cubs, they will tell you that the answer is Mr. Sosaaaaaa. To tell you the truth, the most interesting aspects of baseball for me are pitching and defense. So although I love the energy Sammy brought to the Cubs all those years, the strike me out or hit a homer approach doesn't impress me very much. I love the duo of the Cubs, the unbeatable young talent of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.
After the 2003 postseason, people in Taiwan got to know the Cubs even more. Yes, that is right!! The Steve Bartman incident drove the media in Taiwan (or should I say the world) crazy. Every newspaper's sports section was discussing how scary the Goat Curse was. How was that possible to beat Wood and Prior two games in a row. Blah Blah Blah, but...!! It did make Taiwan's MLB fans pay more attention to the Cubbies. Fans are gradually leaning to the Cubs side. The Cubs fans in Taiwan are still not as many as the fans of Braves or Yankees. But we have our voices, we love the Cubbies, we support them win or lose. But Like Dusty Baker said recently, the Cubs don't want to be everybody's "lovable loser," they want to a "lovable winner." I am looking forward to the 2005 season, because this will be the year that the Cubs ends the stupid curse. Go Cubbies!!!!!
Thanks again to Kevin Dunn for his insightful article! You can check out his Cubs blog by going here (although you might need a translator): Cubs Club (MLB). Be on the lookout for more guest articles in the future, from such prestigious writers as Al Yellon, Will Carroll, and more!