A Billion to One

The Great China Baseball Hunt


MEET The Team

Jeff Barker (Co-Director) has been a reporter for more than 30 years for The Associated Press, Arizona Republic and Baltimore Sun (currently). He has covered news, sports and Washington politics. In 2014, he was named one of the nation’s top 10 sports beat writers by the Associated Press Sports Editors, and his writing has been cited in the “Best American Sports Writing” book series. He has appeared multiple times on ESPN’s Outside the Lines and ESPN Radio, and on CNN, PBS, MSNBC and other networks. He is co-author of the book “Perfecting your Pitch” with Ron Shapiro, the former agent to Cal Ripken.  He lives with his wife and daughter in Silver Spring, Md.



Mark Hyman (Co-Director) is a professor in the School of Business at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He teaches courses on the business of sports.  In 2015, students in Mark’s “Sport Globalization: MLB China” course spent eight days in Shanghai and Beijing observing Major League Baseball’s plan to develop a Chinese Major Leaguer. They met many prospects including Xu Guiyuan, aka “Itchy.”  As a sports journalist, Mark has covered the business of sports for BusinessWeek and worked for newspapers in Baltimore, Dallas and Philadelphia. His books include Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and How It Harms Our Kids. Mark lives with his wife, Cecilia Brennecke, in Baltimore. 



Kenneth Eng (Co-Director) is a director, editor and executive producer. After graduating from Boston Latin School, Ken left for New York in 1994 to study film at the School of Visual Arts. His thesis Scratching Windows, a short documentary film about graffiti writers, was broadcast as part of the doc series REEL NY on WNET - NY PBS. In 2001, Ken directed and edited Take Me to The River a feature length documentary about the Maha Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad, India. Kokoyakyu: High School Baseball, his film about the famous Koshien Tournament in Japan was nationally broadcast on PBS as part of POV and continues to play in Japan on NHK-TV. In 2007, Ken was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship to launch My Life In China. Recently, he edited Tested for director Curtis Chin, and is currently developing projects on post-genocide reconciliation in Rwanda and the Critical Legal Studies movement at the Harvard Law School.


Ramona Diaz (Producer) is an Asian-American filmmaker best known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that combine a profound appreciation for cinematic aesthetics and potent storytelling. Ramona’s films have demonstrated her ability to gain intimate access to the people she films resulting in keenly observed moments and nuanced narratives.  Ramona’s credits include Spirits Rising (Student Academy Award, Ida Lupino DGA Award, Golden Gate Award from the SSIFF, IDA Certificate of Merit); Imelda (Excellence in Cinematography Award, 2004 Sundance FF, IDA ABCNews Videosource Award, Independent Lens in 2005); The Learning (IDA Humanitas Award nomination, POV in 2011); Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey (2012 Tribeca FF, closing night of the San Francisco Int’l FF, opening night of 2012 Silverdocs FF, and Independent Lens in 2014).  Ramona recently finished Motherland which will air on POV in 2017.  Ramona has received funding from major agencies such as ITVS, CAAM, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Sundance, and Tribeca. Ramona recently named a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for film and video. She is a graduate of Emerson College and holds an MA in Communication from Stanford University.


John Zhang (Co-executive producer) is a former professional Chinese baseball player who played for the Beijing Tigers. He was recruited at the University of Pennsylvania as the top pitching prospect for class of 2005. After being sidelined due to an elbow injury, John made a comeback in 2007 and pitched for the Beijing Tigers. Today, John enjoys serving as captain of Team Matsui and playing alongside Hideki Matsui, a former NY Yankee. He is an Associate Director for Matsui 55 Baseball Foundation, a charitable organization founded by Hideki Matsui in 2015. 

In his professional life, John has worked in the financial services and alternative investments industry since 2009 and currently serves as Head CMBS Trader at Mizuho Securities USA. He is also the Co-COO and Director of Asia Operations for a high-tech sports equipment startup called BatsToi. 

John holds a Masters in Sports Management from Columbia University and Bachelor's degree in Economics from University of Pennsylvania. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and English, and has lived in Beijing, Sendai, and New York.

Copyright Barkman Media LLC 2016