As soon as I saw Yang Sang-moon, I burst into tears, because I thought of my husband.”
The woman who had a dramatic reunion with Yang Sang-moon, who is in Hong Kong to lead the South Korean women’s national baseball team, is Xie Rong-ao, the wife of the late pitcher Xu Sheng-ming (Korean name Seo Shin-saeng), who played for the South Korean professional baseball team Hankook Cosmetics from 1984-1988.
A right-handed pitcher, Xu Sheng-ming was the ace of the team for five years. In her first year, she formed a one-two punch with left-handed pitcher Yang Sang-moon to lead the team to 17 wins, one draw and three losses.
Yang and the late Seo were not only teammates who formed a one-two punch, but also close friends. “When I saw Xie Rongyao in Hong Kong, I was in tears. I hadn’t seen her for more than 10 years, and I’m so happy to see her.” Ms. Xie Rongyao said, “I came to Korea only five days after my husband and I got married. At that time, Mr. Yang had just graduated from Korea University and joined Korea Cosmetics. We traveled with him every day and shared a friendship,” she smiles.
Hsieh Long-yao came to Hong Kong because she is an official of the Taiwanese national women’s baseball team. The team participated in the 2023 Women’s Baseball Asian Cup (BFA) in Hong Kong and won a silver medal (2nd place). Specifically, Ms. Hsieh is an official of the Taiwanese women’s baseball team Future, which has won numerous championships in the women’s league in Taiwan. A whopping 16 of the 20 players on the Taiwanese national team are from this team.
Taiwan is the No. 2 ranked women’s baseball team in the world. The 10th-ranked South Korean team suffered a 5-15 cold-game loss in the second game of the Super Round against Taiwan. “We practice a lot,” said Hsieh Long-yao. “We practice a lot because we don’t just want to stay at No. 2, we want to be No. 1,” Xie said. Currently, Japan is the undisputed number one in the world rankings.
Taiwan has fielded a team of purely baseball players. In women’s baseball, there aren’t many baseball-only players, so they often bring in players who have played softball on a short-term basis, which is not possible in Taiwan. “There are 13 women’s teams in Taiwan,” says Hsieh Long-yao. Unlike other countries, if you play in a softball league, you can’t be selected for the national baseball team.”
While South Korea used to include 스포츠토토 unemployed softball players on its baseball team to compete in international tournaments just five or six years ago, Taiwan has managed to field a team of purely baseball-playing women and win a silver medal.
“I watched the South Korean team play,” says Hsieh Long-yao. They had a good mix of veterans and young players. Korean women’s baseball is growing steadily.”
The deceased passed away from a myocardial infarction in 2013. She was 55 years old at the time. Seo collapsed while walking with his wife, Xie Rongyao, and never got up.
Ms. Hsieh Long-yao, who still keeps a photo of the late Hsieh on her phone, is dedicated to the development of women’s baseball in Taiwan, following in the footsteps of her husband’s dedication to the game. “After the tournament, I will meet with women’s baseball officials from five Asian countries to talk about exchanges,” Hsieh Rong-yao said with a smile, “and I hope that Korea will also participate.”