Woodall Represents Phenix City and Auburn on the Mound in Taiwan
CHINESE PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL LEAGUE CONTINUED SEASON APRIL 12 AFTER COVID-19
Baseball fans in Taiwan have been able to watch live action on their home televisions since April 12, 2020, but playing without fans has been interesting for Auburn University alum Bryan Woodall. The Chinese Professional Baseball League is the only league in the world that is playing games. COVID-19 has prevented many sports from continuing their seasons.
The league decided to create robot and poster fans in the stand and play music and crowd noise to help the players make the game feel more realistic. Not the ideal fans you’d expect to see in the stands, but it has allowed the CPBL, including former Central Red Devil and Auburn pitcher Woodall to get back on the diamond.
“We let our fans fill out posters and small billboards and put them in their seats, so they put messages on them. Whether it’s cheering on specific players or the teams,” said Woodall. “For me it’s been a blessing because I’m able to do my job, and at the same able to collect a paycheck when I know a lot of people out there aren’t able to.”
The righty appreciates the opportunity to play for the Fubon Guardians, his third season in a row. The team even put on a bit of a show for fans, getting into brawl, but Woodall did the right thing helping out his teammate.
“I actually tried to pull our starting pitcher off of somebody during the game. He’s pretty valuable for us. It started out pretty bad, but it slowed down.”
Taiwan took several early precautions to make sure they kept their coronavirus numbers low in comparison to China where it all began. Taiwan has only had six deaths related to COVID-19, that’s one less than Muscogee County alone.
“We got through precautions everyday wearing masks. We have checkpoints everywhere we go, going into the stadium, going to eat where we get our temperature taken.”
Woodall played seven years in the United States, and now six seasons in Taiwan where he’s tallied a 3.99 ERA and 58 total home runs. With Major League Baseball still on hiatus, Woodall’s teammates in the states now have time to watch him play, especially his family in Columbus.
“I think last week for a game we had 6.5 million viewers. Some of my friends haven’t had a chance to watch me play for years because they’re typically playing at the same time, and they’re able to watch so it’s pretty neat.”
As for MLB, officials are optimistic that games will start back up late June.