Former UK Pitcher in action overseas
HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Despite baseball leagues on hold in North America, one former Kentucky player is still in action on the diamond.
“I wasn’t expecting to play. I was kind of like everybody else, Just sitting at home waiting,” said Logan Darnell.
Darnell has played professional baseball for nearly 10 years, leaving UK after being drafted in 2010.
“I met a guy a couple of years ago￼ that was kinda like a scout any kind of got you jobs if you needed them here and there. He just kind of sent me a message and asked me if I was interested and I was like sure I’m interested,” said Darnell.
The offer was for the Uni-President Lions of the Chinese Profesional Baseball Leauge.
“I figured you know what I’ll never probably be getting another opportunity to go play on the other side of the world,” said Darnell.
Darnell left Rochester, New York in the midst of the pandemic to be with his new team.
“The whole getting my work visa and traveling was kind of difficult," said Darnell. “I had to drive an hour and a half to Buffalo to get a flight to New York and then I had to wait all day because there was one flight to Taiwan.”
Darnell had to isolate himself in a hotel room for 14 days. Players are also checking temperatures and wearing masks when they can.
“Over here in Taiwan, it’s been 60 days since there has been a new case,” said Darnell.
Because of that, the CPBL has been able to return over the last month returning to about normal.
“At the beginning two or three weeks ago there was zero fans,” said Darnell. “They kind of migrated do you could have 2000 fans you just had to social distance.￼ Then last week was the first week we are pretty much the whole stadium can be filled.￼”
Darnell misses home, but he is enjoying his time abroad.
“It’s been great. It’s a lot different than baseball in the states in general. As far as how they play the game and how the hitters play the game. Obviously the game never changes it’s a simple game. The balls are harder and used a little bit in the defense is they don’t, they take more pride in their hitting,” said Darnell.
He is just happy to be playing.
“It’s been a blessing since I can’t play right now I’m not a lot of guys have certainty and don’t know what they’re doing and I’m able to play.”
Darnell is contracted through the rest of the season with the Lions but is expected to return home to the states as he and his wife expect their first child.
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