The Great China Baseball Hunt
The search for the ballplayer who will change everything. This is the story of Major League Baseball’s expensive push - akin to that of other American industries - to gain a foothold in the massive consumer market in China. Guiyuan “Itchy” Xu is a likable, determined 20-year-old, trying to become the first mainland-Chinese baseball player to make it to the American big leagues. He’s the first to graduate from MLB’s Development Centers/Baseball Academies in China and be drafted by a Major League Baseball club. Simon Huang travels all over China on scouting trips to the interior where baseball is alien to local culture. Unlike most Baseball Scouts, Simon has a different way of evaluating preadolescent athletes. The players who sign are offered a free high-quality education.
Through personal stories, we learn about how baseball is changing lives as well as helping to forge a new Chinese identity.
My father fled the Cultural Revolution in 1966. After risking his life to get to America, he started our family in Boston. But when his restaurant went bankrupt and my mom got sick, he began to feel like he’d failed at the American Dream.
A story of migration is passed down from father to son, as we retrace the precarious steps he took in search of a better life. Ultimately asking the question, what does it mean to be both Chinese and American?