July 4, 2020
AIT Celebrates July 4th with America Day: Home Run!
On Saturday, July 4, 2020 the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), in cooperation with the Uni Lions and the City of Tainan, hosted “America Day: Home Run!” at Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium during a game between the Uni Lions and the CTBC Brothers. This event took the place of AIT’s annual Independence Day reception, and included a ceremony, special guests, and gifts for select fans in attendance at the game.
“America Day: Home Run!” was a celebration of both America’s birthday and the U.S.-Taiwan shared love of baseball. The success of the “Taiwan Model” of COVID-19 prevention has meant that Taiwan is one of the only places in the world holding professional sports events. After being invented in the United States, baseball has been embraced by communities around the world – now it’s Taiwan’s turn to share baseball with the United States.
Baseball is very popular in the United States and plays a special role in July 4th Independence Day celebrations. “America Day: Home Run!” provided an opportunity for fans watching today’s game to experience some American baseball traditions. Today’s activities included:
- Distribution of a special edition “America Day: Home Run!” jerseys to 1000 lucky fans;
- A special rendition of the United States’ national anthem, traditionally sung before every professional baseball game in the United States;
- Videos on the big stadium screen of July 4th baseball highlights and footage featuring Major League Baseball players from Taiwan;
- A ceremonial pitch, featuring MLB veterans Wang Chien-ming and Kuo Hong-chih, with assistance from Hall of Fame umpire Liu Po-chun. All of these legends embody the spirit of American baseball, and AIT was so proud to have them with us tonight.
AIT and our partners were honored to have VIP guests joining tonight’s celebrations: Taiwan’s Vice President William Lai, National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, the Taiwan Representative-designate to the United States Bi-khim Hsiao, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-Lung, Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong, Academia Sinica President James Liao, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che, Taiwan External Trade Development Council Chairman James Huang, Chinese Professional Baseball League Commissioner John Wu, National Health Research Institute President Dr. Kung-Yee Liang, AmCham Chairman C. W. Chin, National Cheng Kung University President Dr. Jenny Huey-jen Su, Kaohsiung American School Superintendent Ben Ploeger, HITO MLB Co-host/Commentator Adam Wang, as well as partners from other foreign representative offices and prominent individuals from the business community.
AIT hopes that today’s event highlighted for baseball fans both in Taiwan and in the United States the importance of our close friendship and our many shared values.