The U.S. military bought into this in a huge way. Clubs, organizations and even coin and bill collection sites were found all over the American complexes to help send the 11 and 12 year-olds to Williamsport, PA.
And, miracle of all miracles, they won! The island went crazy and the Golden Dragon World Champions were paraded around all of Taiwan.
If this were the end of the story, then that would be a great finish. However the next decade saw a temporary tarnishing of the Taiwan legacy regarding Little League baseball.
The rest of the world (namely the U.S.) became more than suspicious of Taiwan's representative teams. It seems as though it wasn't playing by the geographical, population, residential and age rules.
By 1975, all foreign competitors were banned for a year in order to comply with the Little League rules. Other countries were sending national teams as well, but none were winning like Taiwan.
After that matter was supposedly resolved, back came Taiwan with a fury. Later the team name was changed to Chinese Taipei for political reasons. However, the fans still waved the ROC flag.
In 27 years, Taiwan won the championship 17 times. The teams were dominant and the glory each champion brought to Taiwan was a boost to national pride.
This year's team is called Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei and it was eliminated after its second loss.
One last thing about the1969 team.
I found a July 21, 2009 article in Taiwan Culture Portal @http:// culture.tw "Age of Glory: Taiwan's Little League Hegemony of the 1970s." It said "The final roster turned out to be a genuine national all-star team, composed of the best baseballers from around the island . . .the chance of being chosen as a member of the team was so small, it is even more difficult than getting into National Taiwan University, the best school in the country.
|And more . .|
Fans waving the ROC flag was a yearly tradition at Williamsport, or so it seemed.
This baseball museum contains much of Taiwanese baseball history.
Inside this museum is an area where all of the World Championship banners hang.
Among other things in this magazine is a section honoring that first championship team from 1969.