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Orioles' pioneering prospect Xu Guiyuan made hard choice to come over from China

Orioles' pioneering prospect Xu Guiyuan made hard choice to come over from China

When he was 14, Xu Guiyuan had to make a grown-up decision — whether to leave his family in southeastern China and move more than 900 miles away to an academy run by Major League Baseball to learn a sport his country is all but indifferent to.

China shows about as much interest in baseball as the United States does in a niche sport like cricket, but for Xu, who was coveted because he was bigger and more athletic than his peers, the offer contained the faintest hope of a career in America's summer sports pasttime.

China has never produced a major leaguer in baseball, which was banned in 1966 as a "bourgeois indulgence for the rich" by Communist leader Mao...

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