Former Major League Baseball star slugger Manny Ramirez is eyeing a comeback in Taiwan, the first place in the world to start its baseball season during the global coronavirus pandemic.
“I have been itching to get back in the batter’s box and be able to compete again,” Ramirez, 47, told the Taiwan Times.
He added his goal was to “find a roster spot” in Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL).
“I also miss being around teammates and team dinners post-game,” added Ramirez, who was an All-Star 12 times during an 18-year Major League career and won the World Series twice with the Boston Red Sox.
Ramirez’s agent Hector Zepeda posted a Twitter video on Thursday of Ramirez practicing in bright sunlight.
“He never lost his touch he still got it. Opportunity is there for a comeback for China Professional Baseball League,” Zepeda tweeted.
One of baseball‘s most successful big hitters, Ramirez played in Taiwan briefly in 2013 after retiring from the major leagues in 2011 as one of only 25 players to pass 500 home runs.
The Dominican Republic native said attendances almost “quadrupled overnight” with his arrival at that time.
“I know if I was given the opportunity to come in an organization as a player-coach, it would do great things for the organization and the league,” he said.
He described his experience playing for EDA Rhinos, now known as Fubon Guardians, as “a kid at a candy store,” saying the Taiwanese fans treated him like “baseball-royalty”.