NEW YORK (CNA) — The New York Mets organization will give away 500 Mets replica jerseys decorated with the name “Taiwan” and “No. 1” during the Major League Baseball (MLB) team’s 16th annual Taiwan Day to be held Aug. 29, a team representative recently told CNA.
Wayne Wang (王偉成), account executive at Mets Asian Development & Services, told CNA this will be the first time an MLB team has given away Taiwan-themed jerseys and the first time since 2014 the Mets have had giveaways for fans on Taiwan Day.
According to Wang, only the first 500 people who buy tickets on the Mets’ official website to the home game against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field will receive the special replica jerseys.
The jersey is a replica of the one worn by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at last year’s Mets Taiwan Day, where Tsai was featured in a promotional video played on the centerfield video display.
Wang said the Mets organization decided to give away the special Taiwan-themed jersey at this year’s Mets Taiwan Day after many people called the team to ask where they could buy the jersey worn by President Tsai last year.
“We hope more fans can take this rare opportunity to come to the game, wearing the special jersey, and proudly tell everyone that ‘we are from Taiwan,'” Wang, a Taiwanese-American, said.
Meanwhile, on the right sleeve of the special jersey is the “Hello Taiwan” logo, referring to a slogan first launched in 2010 by members of the New York Taiwanese-American community in the hope of re-connecting a younger generation of Taiwanese-Americans with Taiwan.
The Mets have worked with Taiwan’s representative office in New York to hold the annual Taiwan Heritage Day and promote Taiwanese culture in the U.S. since 2005.
Other MLB teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, have held similar Taiwan culture days but the Flushing-based team is the MLB team that has the longest-running Taiwan Day event.
Taiwanese-American television personality Janet Hsieh (謝怡芬) will throw the ceremonial first pitch at this year’s Taiwan Day.
During last year’s Taiwan Day, Taiwanese Youtuber Tsai Aga (蔡阿嘎) threw the first pitch to start the game, which was attended by 700 overseas Taiwanese compatriots.
Other famous Taiwanese to throw the first pitch at the annual celebration include Oscar award-winning film director Ang Lee (李安), Taiwanese golf player Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) and the first Taiwanese Nobel Prize laureate Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), among others.