The storybook career of Ray Chang is proof that America has not run out of steam by any stretch of the imagination. It's also proof that, by following the inspiration of President Obama, we can conquer the world using love instead of insults, threats and steel. Hollywood doesn't need to go any further than Ray Chang's reality to inspire people to achieve unbelievable results.
Chang is an American whose parents emigrated from China and opened a Chinese restaurant in Kansas City. Following the instincts of any kid who ever grew up in this country, he made baseball his dream. He went out to Los Angeles and auditioned for a shortstop position at a Dodgers open try-out session where, unbelievably, considering the odds, they signed him to a minor league contract. Eventually the Dodgers traded him to the Pirates farm organization.
Last year Chang received an invitation from the Chinese government to travel to that country as a consultant for their baseball program. Traveling around that country, Chang trained China's baseball team to participate in the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, where the team had its first notable success in defeating its arch-rival, the accomplished Taiwan team, which had the immeasurable advantage of several generations of baseball culture and a world-famous baseball infrastructure consisting of a professional league and multiple Little League world championships.
The Chinese sports ministry, impressed by Chang's athletic ability and devotion to the game, decided to invite him to participate in this year's World Baseball Classic, where his authoritative presence in the infield and power hitting in a second victory over Chinese Taipei ensured him future coaching jobs in China and brought him to the attention of all the managers, GMs and owners here in the States.
Ultimately, China was eliminated after being devoured 14-0 like a dim sung by the powerful Korean machine. Nevertheless, Ray Chang's fine talent and leadership has gained him entrance to the Forbidden City of MLB's front office.
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