Kuo and his love of dogs…
Despite being around the team year-round, I still learn new things every day about our players. Just found out that Hong-Chih Kuo has four dogs here in LA and one back in Taiwan and that he recently took part in an SPCA event in Taiwan last week. The news release is below…seems like a natural fit for next year’s Bark in the Park!
And don’t forget, you can still vote for Kuo for Setup Man of the Year at MLB.com
Happy Thanksgiving to Dodger fans around the country…enjoy the time with your family and friends.
Taipei – Not only does Hong-Chih Kuo have the skills to be one of the few players that ultimately made it to the MLB, he’s one of the few that has a true compassion for animal welfare. Back in Taiwan for just a few weeks, he spent time on a campaign for the Taiwan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TW SPCA), to speak up against animal cruelty. Kuo states that before moving to the states to play for the L.A. Dodgers, he saw many media reports of acts of violence towards animals and the devastating experiences of many of Taiwan’s strays. This hits close to home as he has five dogs of his own; four in L.A. and one in his native home of Tainan. Kuo contacted the TW SPCA through his manager and voiced his desire to try and help improve animal welfare in Taiwan.
The SPCA is an international animal welfare group of independent organizations based in many countries around the world, such as: England, U.S.A, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. The Taiwan SPCA was established in July of 2009 and has already applied to the Ministry of the Interior for NGO status. Taiwan SPCA’s constitution, goals, and organizational structure are already being supported by many, including famous celebrities such as: Dee Hsu (Xiao S), Mavis & 100% Band, MC Hotdog, Machi, Wang Shao Wei, singer Alex Lee, and SBL basketball players whom have all filmed supportive messages and/or campaign messages for the Taiwan SPCA.
In Kuo’s video campaign, he is portrayed as a defender of animals and is shown helping out strays. The concept came about when Kuo started asking the TW SPCA for information on cruelty cases in Taiwan. It showed his genuine interest in the matter and his aspiration to make a difference. On the day of the video shoot, Kuo also signed an endorsement letter for the Taiwan SPCA, hoping that others will join in on the fight against animal cruelty.
The Taiwan SPCA hopes that this video campaign can be shown across all media platforms to remind the public that Taiwan’s animals still need our help. It shouldn’t be a “out of sight, out of mind” kind of situation anymore. If anyone wishes to volunteer, adopt or foster an animal, or donate to TW SPCA’s cause, please contact us at: email@example.com
MLB Industry Meetings
Those who have followed Inside the Dodgers for a long time probably recall that every couple years, our industry heads to one spot to share best practices and talk about the future of the game on the business side of things. No different than what most of you do in your own jobs at various conferences around the country.
So, we find ourselves in Orlando, having talked about the international future of baseball (the Dogders’ trips to China and Taiwan came up several times), the changing landscape of media (lots of talk about blogs, Twitter, Facebook, flip cam videos, etc), the World Baseball Classic and even those who cover the business of sports.
It’s always a great way to network and pick up some ideas from others in the industry and tonight, there’s a team building event in which we’ll all be building 100 bikes for young kids from the local Boys & Girls Club. Pretty cool way to tie into their theme of “Going Beyond” which you’ve seen throughout the postseason.
Need a feel good story?
After 1,570 games at the minor league level, John Lindsey has reached the big leagues. He’s among the five callups that Joe Torre just announced and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
He started his minor league career in 1995 with the Arizona League Rockies and has since been at Portland, Asheville, Salem, San Bernardino, San Antonio, New Jersey, Jupiter, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, New Orleans, the Arizona League Dodgers and Albuquerque…not to mention the Dodgers’ trips to China and Taiwan, which is how I’ve had the chance to interact with him.
I’m happy for all of our callups – John Ely, Jon Link, Chin-lung Hu and Russ Mitchell, who will be making his big league debut. They all deserve it but imagine giving 15 years of your life to something and wondering if you’ll ever make it to the big leagues. I would have loved to have witnessed the conversation between John and Tim Wallach.
And the best part is, no one can accuse this guy of not legitimately earning it – he hit .356 with 25 homers and 97 RBI after going .316-26-100 for Triple-A Las Vegas in 2008.
There aren’t many people with whom I’ve visited the Great Wall of China (Beijing) and the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial (Taipei) but I’m proud to have done so with Mr. Lindsey.
An awesome day…
Another Dodger win and on My Town Taiwan Night, both Hong-Chih Kuo and Fu Te Ni both got in the game. The section on the reserved level was going bonkers.
John Ely was dealing again, even with a rough first inning he kept his composure and lasted six innings.
We’ll try to keep it going tomorrow…hope you’ll make it out for the series finale.
The Empire Strikes Dodger Stadium
No, not the Padres…though as the first place team at the moment, they are kind of like the evil empire right now.
We’re talking about tomorrow night’s promotion which I’m sure you’ve all heard about, but there’s a really funny Jib Jab video that utilizes a few of our players. The My Town section is completely sold out, there are still tickets left for other areas of the stadium, where fans will get the poster that you see at the same link.
It’s actually pretty cool that what started as a simple request to use Yoda on our billboards has turned into a great relationship with the Lucas Films people (and the Yoda billboard actually won an advertising award). There are a lot of Dodger fans who like Star Wars and vice versa, so hopefully some of you fall into that category. It’s also sparked other similar relationships with the people at SpongeBob and Phineas and Ferb and for any of you with kids, you know how big those characters are with your little ones.
Otherwise, just another busy day at the stadium. We actually had a news conference here for the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, where this guy performed a song. If you haven’t seen this yet, you’ll be amazed at his voice. He’s up to almost 7 million hits on youtube and he was extolling the virtues of visiting Taiwan, as were James Loney, Jamey Carroll, Xavier Paul and Hong-Chih Kuo. By the way, if you missed all the videos from our trip to Taiwan back in March, you can check them out here (keyword Taiwan).
OK, that’s three video links in one blog post, which I think is probably a record for Inside the Dodgers. So, we’ll end the post now.
We’re just about an hour away from boarding the bus to the airport, with a 10 am scheduled departure for Taipei. This job comes with some unique perks and safe to say, traveling around the world is one of them. While some may not be looking forward to a 15-hour flight to Taiwan for what amounts to three days on the ground, I’m personally excited about checking out another country that I’ve heard so much about for the past 10 years.
As PR representatives, we’re constantly promoting the players and the team and so we’ve probably written the word “Taiwan” 1,000 times in relation to Chin-Feng Chen, Hong-Chih Kuo, Chin-lung Hu, Chin-Hui Tsao or the Dodgers’ overall international efforts over the years.
Just last year, we signed a partnership with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and had a news conference at Dodger Stadium talking about how beautiful the island is and encouraging people to go there, yet we had no clue at the time that we’d be going there six months later.
Speaking of Chen, he’ll actually play against us in the series and it’ll be nice to see him. He was always a nice guy and over there, I’d imagine he’s a legend in the game of baseball. Yesterday, with the Rockies in town, I reminded Jim Tracy of Chen’s first day in the Majors when we were in Denver…there was just one Taiwanese reporter in town who was lucky enough to get an exclusive on the first-ever Taiwanese Major Leaguer and yet, with Trace speaking in all of his baseball lingo, had the kid completely confused. It was hilarious.
Anyway, here are some of the documents we put together for the trip for those interested.
Game Notes Fri and Sat.doc
Dodgers History in Taiwan.doc
I hope to post here at the blog at least daily and will be tweeting @dodgertownusa as much as possible, so follow us there if you aren’t already.
In addition, we’re bringing a number of media members with us so keep an eye out for some fun and unique coverage from Ken Gurnick at dodgers.com, Ramona Shelburne at espnlosangeles.com, our friends at PRIME TICKET, FOX News, and of course, photo galleries from Jon SooHoo on the site.
Talk to you all from Taiwan in about 20 hours…
Cactus League play underway…
The players have headed out to the fields for practice this morning, but the first Cactus League game is today here at Camelback Ranch against our co-tenants, the White Sox.
Meanwhile, this morning at 8 a.m. we had a logistics meeting for Taiwan and people are starting to get excited for the trip. Obviously the earthquake there created a few raised eyebrows, but MLB has confirmed that there is no structural damage to any of the areas we’re going and that our Wednesday morning departure is all set.
There will be lots of fun things going on while the team is there, including an autograph signing for fans, a clinic for kids, a Success Seminar they’ve asked Joe Torre to participate in, and a little bit of sightseeing. Taipei 101 used to be the tallest building in the world until a new skyscraper in Dubai recently topped it. I guess we’ll find out if any of our players are afraid of heights.
Anyway, first pitch is at 1:05 and you can listen on KABC 790 or KHJ 1330…Rick and Charley on the English side and Jaime, Pepe and Fernando in Spanish. Tomorrow’s “home” opener will also be at 1:05 p.m. and can be watched on PRIME TICKET.