Cast: Alan Chang, Brian Cashman, Charlene Wu, Chien-Ming Wang, Neil Allen
Best Documentary nomination, 2018 Golden Horse Awards
Audience Award, International Documentary Feature, 2018 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Like a screaming fastball heading towards home plate, Chien-Ming Wang’s baseball career was on track to light up radar guns. With back-to-back 19-win seasons, Chien-Ming was the most reliable starting pitcher for the New York Yankees, one of the most recognizable sports teams in the world. The entire country of Taiwan assuredly took notice, crowning him the “Pride of Taiwan,” a nickname he humbly dismisses as he, in his own words, is “just a ballplayer.” In an instant, serious injuries knock him out of the Major Leagues, leaving him to toil the minor and independent leagues as he works to find his way back to the show.
LATE LIFE: THE CHIEN-MING WANG STORY gives an unprecedented look into the thoughtful path of one of the few Taiwanese-born players in Major League Baseball. Struggling to come back after years of injuries, Wang’s story is paved with sacrifices, not only for Chien-Ming, but also for his wife and two young sons who are left at home during the season. Like the signature sinker ball that brought him so much success, Wang hopes his baseball career can find the late life it needs to finally break his way and to prove to himself that he can be a Major League pitcher again, if only for one day. Will that be enough to finally give him peace, or can he ever truly let go of the game that has given, and taken, so much?
– James Paguyo
* All Taiwan Film Showcase screenings at UCSD are free for UCSD staff, faculty, and students.