The Fubon Guardians are one of Taiwan’s four professional baseball teams.
But baseball in Taiwan is about so much more than just the action on the field. Indeed it has become known around the world in recent weeks and months for what goes on in the stands – for the passion of the newly admitted fans, for the efforts at supporting teams in a time of pandemic, and of course for the organised cheering by male and female supporters.
At the Fubon Guardians, the head of the supporters’ group is Anu.  Along with his number 2, Travis, and the Fubon Angels they are huge in Taiwan, and are becoming bigger on the global stage.
We had a sit down with the man himself.
Anu of the Fubon Guardians
Anu of the Fubon Guardians
Please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Anu, I am the leader of the supporters group for the Fubon Guardians.
My main job is working as a host for Fubon, and controlling the atmosphere at baseball games.
I also work in the office for Fubon where I arrange the music we hear at the games.
As well as that I plan the theme days and events we have as a team including the marketing and new ideas.
The supporters group is the first contact we have with the fans so we plan it in depth.
How did you get into dancing and performing?
My former job was in sports marketing, and I also worked as a host of my own events. I had a chance at that time as a marketing consultant to host events for my former team and my boss asked me if I would be interested in the role I have now, so I wanted to try out for it, but then I felt I couldn’t go back to my former position so I have stayed here..
How long have you been with the Guardians?
Since the Guardians were established, but my first experience doing this job was back in 2015, for the-then EDA Rhinos.
I only stayed in that team for a year though, as the situation a year later was a little confusing.
So as I was essentially a contractor I went back to my former job. But after the Guardians were established in 2017, I was recalled.
Anu art - on display at the Guardians' home field in Xinzhuang
Anu art – on display at the Guardians’ home field in Xinzhuang
Is it a job you enjoy doing?
The most enjoyable part of this job is interacting with fans during the games.
I think the reaction of fans is so real and genuine, because no matter if the team wins or loses their emotion is written on their face so I enjoy it when the team wins as they have joy written across their faces, and even when losing you can see the fans do not want to give up.
People say that sports can break barriers and this is especially so in baseball, because baseball here in Taiwan has the ability to bring all kinds of people together for long periods.
It lets people build up relationships. Also – I enjoy dancing with the Fubon Angels.
What is it like working with Travis, and the Fubon Angels?
It’s all about teamwork. We are all from different fields but we have been brought together because of baseball.
We became coworkers and then we became good friends.
We have our different roles at different times in different positions, so when I am not there Travis will be there. And vice-versa.
(As fans can see) Travis mainly dances with the Angels and our team mascots.
At the end of the game we all dance together.
We don’t have many fans now – only 2000 allowed in – is it different to interacting with a full stadium?
The most obvious difference is the level of noise generated, because without the fans cheering I cannot recognise if the players have hit a ball, caught someone out or exactly what has happened.
I sometimes think it might be a home run, but I am not sure as the game is behind me, and as I am wearing a microphone I cannot cheer too soon so I have look behind me.
The fans really help connect me to what is happening on the field.
The fans make the game a game.
So you must be happy the fans are now coming back, even in reduced numbers.
I feel very happy even thought the stadium cannot be full yet, but with them here it feels like a real baseball game.
I see you practice a lot behind the scenes before games, how do you feel afterwards?
After games I feel physically very tired because I always do my best during the games, but emotionally I am very excited as the tension is still high within me.
So after I get home I cannot sleep, as I feel like I am still there in the stadium with the game ongoing.
Anu before a game that was eventually rained out
Anu before a game that was eventually rained out
Is there a difference when the team wins?
Winning is more tiring. Because there are more hits, a higher score and we need to perform for longer.
But when losing I just want to be quiet, and to wait for the next game.
What are your hopes for the club in the next few months as we hopefully get all the fans back?
In the past we have planned theme days, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic we are planning it more as an online event, and we now have an official Twitter account – here – so we are using Twitter to increase awareness of the CPBL overseas.
And I want to have the theme days back here in the stadium as they used to be, alongside the online events for fans who might be nervous to attend because of the pandemic, but also to let those who come here to Xinzhuang to play games with us.
That is our goal for the next few months.
Where do you hope to be five years from now?

I hope I can remain working for the club. I enjoy and like my current role very much in the supporters group.

One day I will move behind the scenes with new people to replace me. I don’t know when that will be, but that will be the time for Travis to replace me. And after Travis, a new face will come in.

Just the same as with the Angels, each year we have new people join.

One of Anu's fans gets artistic
One of Anu’s fans gets artistic
How do you feel when you see the posters from fans with your name on them – in amongst those for all the players?

I feel so grateful to them because they couldn’t be here at first.

Each team in the CPBL have their own marketing forms. Our way in using the handmade cheering boards of the fans is very heartwarming, as it lets the fans make whatever they want for the players.

It is a very direct form of communication. I felt it was very touching.

At the time no fans could come in, I turned and looked at the boards and felt so grateful and happy.

You May Also Like

Chinese Troops Struggle With Low Quality Winter Clothing On Indian Border

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s adventurism has started costing it heavily. Actions

Taipei International Coffee Festival kicks off to celebrate International Coffee Day

We have heard about a lot of days which are basically an
Manny Ramirez in his stint in Taiwan: CC

TTT Interview: Manny Ramirez “baseball royalty”

Manny Ramirez is a baseball superstar.  In an MLB career that lasted

Calling China’s Bluff On Recent Provocations: Indian Style

Editor’s note: Dr Punit Saurabh is an Assistant Professor (Strategy area) at Nirma