Wu Yibing becomes first Chinese man to reach the US Open third round since 1881
Yibing, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound lefty, hit a wild pitch in the third inning to force a game-ending double play, and then struck out the last two batters in a three-run third for the victory.
He became the first Chinese man to reach the major-league third round since 1881, a fact that only adds to his unique status in the game.
According to the USTA, only six other Chinese men have ever reached the third round.
“He’s my kind of player,” teammate Nick Punto told the AP. “He’s not afraid to go after the ball. You can see that in his face during the game today. I can see it in his eyes. He goes out there and gets after it.”
Yibing, who grew up in the city of Chengdu and attended Peking University in Beijing, will now begin his first major-league season with the Philadelphia Phillies’ Double-A Reading Fightin’ Phils. His father, Liu Yibing, is a senior manager for the Red Sox.
In his previous season of professional baseball with the Beijing Flying Tigers, Yibing pitched to a 3.70 ERA in 15 games (13 starts).
Yibing, who is in the third round of qualifying for the United States Open this year, spent last year with the New York Yankees’ Double-A Auburn Doubledays, compiling a 5-2 record with a 2.41 ERA in 22 games (20 starts).
Yibing’s path to the majors was not without its difficulties.
After playing for a year in the Beijing Baseball League—the third- to sixth-tier of Chinese professional baseball—the 26-year-old Yibing did not get a sniff at the major leagues until he was 19.
By then, Chinese baseball was just beginning its third decade. In the 1990s, baseball was banned within the People’