Yanks to bring World Series trophy East
Tour to begin Sunday, hit Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong
NEW YORK -- The Yankees have announced plans to bring the 2009 World Series championship trophy on a six-day tour of Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong, beginning on Sunday.
The club's delegation will include team president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman and assistant general manager Jean Afterman.
Also accompanying the trophy will be senior vice president of corporate sales and sponsorships Michael Tusiani, director of Pacific Rim operations George Rose, executive director of stadium event security Todd Letcher and media relations manager Michael Margolis.
The trophy will begin its journey with a scheduled arrival at Tokyo's Narita Airport on Sunday, Jan. 31, at 5 p.m. Japan Standard Time (JST -- 14 hours ahead of U.S. ET), marking the first time the Yankees have brought their World Series trophy to Asia.
On Feb. 1, the World Series trophy will be on display at Tokyo's MLB Café alongside the Yomiuri Giants' 2009 Japan Series championship trophy, in the first instance of the two trophies being side by side.
The Yankees' delegation will be joined by Yomiuri Giants owner Takuo Takihana and MLB Asia vice president Jim Small. Following an exchange of gifts and a brief news conference, the two trophies will remain on hand for fans to enjoy throughout the evening.
Fans in Beijing and Hong Kong will have their first opportunity to view and have their photo taken with the World Series trophy. The Yankees will also meet with the China Baseball Association (CBA) to further the cooperation agreement between the two entities.
Following a travel day from Tokyo to Beijing, Yankees officials will meet with the CBA on Feb. 3. The Yankees created a partnership with the CBA on Jan. 29, 2007, when the pair drafted a Memorandum of Understanding that formalized the CBA's first strategic alliance with a Major League Baseball club.
At 2 p.m. China Standard Time (1 a.m. ET) on Feb. 3, the Yankees and the CBA will hold a news conference at the Kunlun Hotel Conference Hall in Beijing.
The trophy will make its first public appearance in the world's most populous country on Feb. 3 at 5 p.m. CST at the New World Department Store, located at No. 3 Chong Wen Men Wai Da Jie, Chongwen District, Beijing. Media and fans are invited to the news conference, which will include the full Yankees delegation, CBA officials and New World representatives.
The Beijing Yankees, 2009 winners of the first annual Diamond Cup, which is given to the champions of Major League Baseball's "Play Ball" youth baseball program in China, are also expected to be in attendance.
Following a travel day, the trophy will make its Hong Kong debut on Feb. 5 at 2:30 p.m. CST at New World Development's recently-opened K11 mall at 18 Hanoi Road TST, where media will have an opportunity to speak to members of the Yankees delegation.
Additionally, fans will be able to enjoy the trophy in its final public appearance in Asia, as it will be displayed among other world-class works of art.
The trophy tour in China is organized by QSL Sports, which has been active in the promotion of baseball in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and operates the China Youth Baseball League with the CBA. The hosts of the trophy events in China are QSL Sports, New World Department Stores and K11, which is known as the "World's First Art Mall."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.