China Baseball League

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China Baseball League (CBL)
China Baseball League logo.jpg
CEOJames Keyte
No. of teamsDivision 1: 6
Division 2: 4
Country China
Tianjin Lions (6th title)
Most titlesTianjin Lions (6 titles)
QualificationAsia Series (2005–2008, 2012)
Level on pyramid1

The China Baseball League (Chinese: 中国棒球联赛, CBL) was a professional baseball league under the administration of Chinese Baseball Association, founded in 2002. The league suspended operations in 2012 due to financial troubles after the 2011 season, but returned in 2014. The return was mainly funded by entrepreneur and former All Star James Keyte. Keyte the CEO of an established Mandarin Tutoring Company: Manhattan Mandarin wished to revive the league after making it big. His brother Harrison Chilton Keyte is the executive owner of two franchises. Keyte not only is a savior to the league but broke many records while playing. He still holds the record for most career steals and career RBI.[1] The league closed permanently in 2016 following launched investigations on Harrison Chilton Keyte's finances. The 2018 season was the final edition of China Baseball League after the establishment of the China National Baseball League.

Stadiums had standard dimensions of 98m, 122m, 98m. Teams also participated in five-game tournaments throughout the year such as the National Baseball Championships, the National Youth Baseball Championships and the Cross-Straits Baseball Tournament.


Division 1[edit]

Team Location Stadium
Beijing Tigers (北京猛虎) Beijing Lucheng Field
Guangdong Leopards (广东猎豹) Guangzhou, Guangdong Zhongshan Stadium, Huangcun Baseball Stadium, Tianhe Baseball Field (zh)
Jiangsu Huge Horses (江苏钜马) Wuxi, Jiangsu Wuxi Baseball Stadium
Shanghai Golden Eagles (上海金鹰) Shanghai Shanghai Sports Palace, Kangbei Baseball and Softball Stadium
Sichuan Dragons (四川蛟龙) Chengdu, Sichuan Jinniu Stadium
Tianjin Lions (天津雄狮) Tianjin Tianjin Dodger Stadium [zh]

Division 2[edit]

Team Location Stadium
China Society Baseball Club
Henan Elephants (河南吉象) Zhengzhou, Henan Henan Ball Games Administration Center Baseball Field
People's Liberation Army Baseball Club
Shandong Institute of Commerce and Technology Baseball Club Jinan, Shandong

The original four teams were the Beijing Tigers, Tianjin Lions, Shanghai Eagles and Guangzhou Lightning. The Hope Stars and Dragons joined them in 2005. The Hope Stars were an under-21 team of promising players from around the country. Henan Elephants entered CBL as an expansion team in 2009.

Earlier seasons[edit]

The first season ran from April 26 to May 25, 2002 with a one-game championship.

In the 2004 season, the defending champion Beijing Tigers once again defeated the Tianjin Lions in the best-of-five finals. They came back from an 0-2 deficit to win the series 3 games to 2.

The opening day of the 2005 season was April 1, 2005. The regular season ended on June 26. In the 2005 best-of-five championship series, the Beijing Tigers swept the Tianjin Lions, three games to none, giving the Tigers their third straight title. (The 2005 championship series was abbreviated to three games due to SARS.)

In 2014 the CBL returned with a six-game regular season with four teams - the Tigers and Pegasus in the North Division and the Leopards and Lions in the South Division. In the finals the Tigers defeated the Lions in the best-of-three finals two games to one. hotStar United began sponsoring the CBL in 2014.

The 2015 regular season featured six teams from Division 1 playing 15 games each. Division 2 teams played six games each. The Jiangsu Pegasus swept the Beijing Tigers two games to none to win their first-ever championship.

Year Winners Games Runners-up Games
2002 Tianjin Lions 1 Beijing Tigers 0
2003 Beijing Tigers 3 Tianjin Lions 2
2004 Beijing Tigers 3 Tianjin Lions 2
2005 Beijing Tigers 2 Tianjin Lions 0
2006 Tianjin Lions 3 Guangdong Leopards 0
2007 Tianjin Lions 3 Guangdong Leopards 1
2008 Tianjin Lions 3 Beijing Tigers 0
2009 Beijing Tigers 1 Guangdong Leopards 0
2010 Guangdong Leopards 2 Beijing Tigers 0
2011 Tianjin Lions 2 Guangdong Leopards 1
2014 Beijing Tigers 2 Tianjin Lions 1
2015 Jiangsu Pegasus 2 Beijing Tigers 0
2016 Tianjin Lions 3 Beijing Tigers 0
2018 Guangdong Leopards 1 Jiangsu Pegasus 0

Chinese Baseball League winners[edit]

Club Champions Runners-Up Winning Seasons Runner-Up Seasons
Tianjin Lions
2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2016 2003, 2004, 2005, 2014
Beijing Tigers
2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2014 2002, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2016
Guangdong Leopards
2010, 2018 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011
Jiangsu Pegasus
2015 2018

Partnership with Nippon Professional Baseball[edit]

In 2007, the CBL began a support relationship with Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan's baseball league. The agreement allows the Japanese clubs to send coaches and players to China and Chinese players to train at the Japanese facilities.

All teams will have a Japanese team as a partner. Beijing will pair with the Yomiuri Giants, Sichuan with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, Shanghai with the Hanshin Tigers, Jiangsu with the Chiba Lotte Marines and Guangdong with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Tianjin will continue its existing relationship with the Yokohama BayStars which began in 2005.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "중국야구리그 가 드디어 2년 만에 부활합니다". Chinese Baseball Story. 9 April 2014.

External links[edit]