06/06/2012 12:39 PM ET
Chen: Living my dream in the U.S.
O's lefty in first MLB season after playing in native Taiwan
When I had the opportunity to live my dream and leave Taiwan to play baseball in the United States, I started negotiating a contract with the Orioles.
I really felt from the start that I would fit in well in Baltimore. I felt as though I would be comfortable on this team and that they really wanted me to be part of their team. We worked out a contract that worked well for both parties.
Although I feel that I have adjusted well to life both on and off the field, I was definitely nervous my first week. However, my new teammates and the Orioles front office and staff have done a great job of making me feel like part of their family. I am very happy here, and I am very happy to pitch for the Orioles.
It is definitely different, though, compared to pitching in my homeland of Taiwan. It is a different type of culture on the baseball field in America. The players tend to do their own thing and don't need as much instruction from the coaches. That's not to say they don't listen, but they are just able to go and do their own thing without instruction. They are more complete players here.
Back home it is different, but still, I think that baseball is definitely the most popular sport in Taiwan. Mostly everyone in the country watches it on television. Most of the people start playing the game when they are very young.
I, too, started when I was young. But I can't speak for the kids there today in that regard because I feel so far removed from those days.I started playing baseball when I was young because I loved the game. I didn't know anything about baseball in the United States, nor did I know anything about Major League Baseball back then. When I was in college, I started watching Major League games, and it was from that point on that I dreamed of playing baseball here.
The one thing I would tell people from Taiwan that want to come over here to play baseball is to set a goal and accomplish that goal. It was a little different for me because I didn't have the experience of going through the Minor Leagues. I was able to jump right into the big leagues. I set a goal in high school to make it here, and I was able to attain that goal.
Still, I don't really feel pressure from back home to be successful here. Yes, people are watching me here, but really I think I put more pressure on myself to do well and succeed.
Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen is off to a strong start with the Orioles. The 26-year old is 4-2 with a 3.75 ERA over his first 10 starts. A native of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, he signed a three-year contract with Baltimore in January.