Friday, August 5, 2011

82-year-old biological grandfather of Washington Nationals star pitcher Chien-Ming Wang found dead at neighborhood park; suicide suspected, police say

WASHINGTON, DC -- Wang Chien-ming started playing baseball in the
fourth grade in Taiwan, as a pitcher, first baseman and outfielder. He
attended high school in Taipei. His home, Tainan, is in the south of
the island nation. It was through baseball that he learned an
important part of his personal story.

“We were going out to a competition and needed our personal
documents,” Wang once told the New York Times, explaining that meant
the names, relationships and birthdates of family members. “When I got
my documents, I learned who my biological parents were. My parents
didn’t tell me.”

Wang found out then that his biological father was the man he knew as
his uncle, Ping-Yin Wang. Wang’s parents had no children of their own
and offered to raise him. They later had a daughter, Hsiu-Wen Wang,
who is two years younger.

It must have been a startling revelation, but Wang betrayed no emotion
when talking about it.

“I didn’t feel anything in particular,” he said. “I felt it was all
right, like I had two fathers.”

If anything, Wang said, he became even more serious about succeeding
as a pitcher.

“I felt I had to work even harder in order to help two sets of
parents,” he said, adding later, “Most of my money I send home to let
my parents manage. The rest I use for living expenses in America.”

In the off-season, Wang and his wife, Chia-ling, live with the parents
who raised him. He loves his mother’s cooking, he said, but the
overriding reason is cultural.

His parents, who manufactured metal products like spoons and lunch
boxes, have been retired for about 15 years. In Taiwan, Wang
explained, it is customary for sons to stay at home and take care of
their parents. Long after learning his personal background, Wang
remains very close with the parents who raised him.

“In Taiwan there’s a saying: ‘Raising a child is more important than
giving birth. Raising a child is greater,’ ” Wang told Times reporter
TYLER KEPNER in 2006.
.
Fast forward to August 2011. The grandfather of Chien-Ming Wang
was found dead in a Taiwan park. Police suspect suicide.

News report: An elderly man who was found dead Sunday in the southern city of
Tainan has been identified as the biological grandfather of Taiwanese
baseball pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, police said.

A paperboy reported around 5 am Sunday that he had seen someone hanging
by the neck from an electric cord tied to a horizontal bar in a park
in Tainan's Guanmiao district.

When the emergency response team arrived on the scene, they found that
the man had no heartbeat and was not breathing, according to the
district police.

The police later identified the body as that of an 82-year-old man
surnamed Huang.

There was no suicide note and the Huang family said Huang did not show
any abnormal behavior before the incident. Huang was known to suffer
from high blood pressure.

He was the father of Wang's biological mother. Wang was adopted at
birth and raised by his uncle.

According to Huang's neighbors, he never boasted that he had a
grandson who played in the Major League but he did care a lot about
the 31-year-old baseball star.

The 19-game winner returned to the Major mound July 30 after a serious
shoulder injury that kept him out of competition for more than two
years.

Baseball pundits have expressed worry that the news of his
grandfather's death could pose a setback for the right-hander.

But so far, there has been ZERO media coverage of this family matter
in USA newspapers or sports channels.

4 comments:

dan said...

Interesting. Didn't Wang's grandfather have, like a full name? More than just Mr Huang? YES BUT TAIWAN MEDIA SOMETIMES JUST REPORT THE SURNAME ONLY...FOR PRIVACY REASONS...

Given that "Wang was adopted at birth and raised by his uncle," I can see why it's not rising to the level of a coverage-worthy story.
BUT IN THE NEWS STORY OF THE GRANDPA, IT SAYS THE GRANDPA KNEW THAT WANG HIS BIOLOGICAL GRANDSON HAD GONE ON TO BECOME A STAR BASEBALL PHEMON IN TAIWAN FIRST AND THEN THE NY YANKEES AND NOW THE DC NATIONALS, AND WHILE HE NEVER BOASTED ABOUT HIS GRANDSON HE WAS AWARE OF IT ALL AND WAS SAID TO BE PERSONALLY YET PRIVATELY PROUD OF HIS GRANDSON TOO... THAT"S THE PART THAT RESONATES OR SHOULD..THERE IS A HUMAN STORY HERE, NO?

The Taiwan story you flagged does show up in a Google News search. YES BUT ONLY IN TAIWAN AND CHINA MEDIA. NOT ONE USA MEDIA HAS PICKED IT UP. NOT EVEN ONE USA NEWSPAPER SPORTS BLOG.

Anonymous said...

****According to Grandpa Huang's neighbors, while he never boasted that he had a
grandson who played in the Major League ....he did CARE a lot about
the 31-year-old baseball star.

THIS SHOULD BE IN USA NEWSPAPER..... NO?

dan said...

''Dan, I intend to ask Wang Chien-Ming about his grandfather before I write a story for my newspaper, if I do write it at all. Can I ask what makes u so passionate about the topic?''

-- TOP SPORTS WRITER AT TOP SPORTS NEWSPAPER SECTION IN USA

MY ANSWER: I feel there is a good family / human interest angle here that focuses on Wang's Taiwanese roots and how much he is loved by his fans in Taiwan. So i just feel there is a good human interest story here, to make sports heroes more humanized....it's NOT all about winning games or making oodles of money...there are FAMILY SAGAS here too...... sports is not just a money making machine ....there are real people invovled with real family stories....no?

Anonymous said...

Given that "Wang was adopted at birth and raised by his uncle," don't agree with your assessment.

It's nice if it gets covered, but if it doesn't, it's not some kind of grievous oversight.