The CPBL or 中華職業棒球大聯盟 is made up of the top baseball players in Taiwan. Currently the league consists of four teams that play on a rotating basis in stadiums all over the island. Although some teams are more popular than others in certain cities, teams do not play out of a home stadium as in the U.S.
In 2008 the league was hit with a large game fixing scandal. Two teams folded and several players were banned for life. Since the founding of the league twenty years ago there have been several high profile betting scandals involving players. These incidents have taken a toll on attendance and league popularity.
The quality of play is similar to about “AA” minor league ball in the U.S. Each team is allowed four import players. These players are often given Chinese names to help draw more local interest. Import players usually come from Japan, South Korea, or the U.S.
One of the best things about Taiwan baseball is the atmosphere in the stadium. Starting at home plate, each fan base sits on the side of their teams dugout. While your team is batting it is constant mayhem in the stands. Fans bring drums, trumpets, noise makers etc. The first game I attended looked like the opposing team had a literal percussion section just going crazy. Furthermore, each team has a ring leader who has a megaphone leading the cheers.
Another cool aspect is the affordability. Tickets start at about $3 U.S. and you can also bring in any food and drinks you want. In the outfield bleachers it is even possible to bring your own grill into the stadium.
Current teams in the league are the Brothers Elephants, La New Bears, Sinon Bulls, and the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions.