Ray Chang Surprises with Perfect English

Back in 2006, the undrafted Ray Chang played in 27 games with the Fort Wayne Wizards. He hit 2.86 with 3 home runs and 8 RBIs. Last season, he ended up with the Pittsburgh Pirates three-plus season with the Padres. The Kansas City native is playing int he World Baseball Classic with the China team.

I came across this little humorous tidbit today and I had to share:

The fans at the fence between the Tigers clubhouse and where the players work out are autograph hounds in the true sense. The Tigers are their preference, of course, but on Monday they also wanted the Chinese National Team (getting ready in Lakeland for the World Baseball Classic) to sign names when those players walked by as well.

Many of them obliged, not able to speak English, but knowing what the fans wanted. They signed and bowed. Bowed and signed. Very polite. Very formal.

Suddenly one of them said to the crowd in perfect English — “How’s it going today?”

Taken aback, the fans reacted by applauding. Out of this supposed language barrier came a surprise greeting. Here’s the story behind the surprise, though.

“My name is Ray Chang,” the player said later. “I’m from Kansas City and I’ve played in the Padres organization the last four years. I’ll be back in camp with the Pirates this year when the Classic is over.”

So much for thinking that one of the Chinese players had stayed up late to learn his first English phrase.

“Everyone doing OK?” he asked again — and with that, infielder Ray Chang of the Chinese team walked away, leaving a puzzled, but appreciative crowd behind him.

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