Archive for February, 2011

Coach Les on HOF ballot

February 11th, 2011
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Maybe this is the year legendary Hawaii baseball coach Les Murakami joins pitcher Derek Tatsuno in the College Baseball Foundation Hall of Fame. Murakami is among 17 coaches on the ballot, which also includes 36 players.

The panel of around 190 voters will complete balloting within the next few days.

Here’s the complete list of this year’s nominees:

Vintage/Pre-1947

Jack Coffey

Eddie Collins

Clint Evans

Ray Fisher

C.R. “Dudy” Noble

1947-63

Tom Borland

Dick Groat

Art Mazmanian

Mickey Sullivan

Murray Wall

1964-77

Rusty Adkins

Bill Almon

Bill Bordley

Dave Chalk

Gary Gentry

Tom Paciorek

Brent Strom

1978-87

Casey Close

Mike Fiore

Terry Francona

Mike Loynd

Oddibe McDowell

Mark McGwire

Kevin McReynolds

Frank Viola

Tim Wallach

1988-98

Kris Benson

Jeffrey Hammonds

Bobby Jones

Mike Kelly

Gregg Olson

Ira Smith

Mike Smith

Small School

Joe Arnold

Doug Ault

Tim Burzette

John Deutsch

Alex Fernandez

Tim Jorgensen

Demi Mainieri

Tino Martinez

Don Schaly

Lloyd Simmons

Coaches

Pete Butler

Norm DeBriyn

Chuck Hartman

Larry Hays

Les Murakami

Al Ogletree

Frank Sancet

Jack Stallings

Bill Wilhelm

John Winkin

UH softball … It’s FREE

February 10th, 2011
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Got your attention? The University of Hawaii softball team opens its season tonight, 6 p.m. at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium against Southern Utah.

Admission is still free of charge (parking on lower campus is $5, though).

This was the best sports-viewing deal imaginable last season, as the Wahine broke the NCAA record for home runs in a single season, and the Wahine enjoyed unprecedented success and went all the way to the Women’s College World Series.

And most of the Wahine star players are back this year and the team is poised for another outstanding season. There’s no reason why there shouldn’t be great crowds for UH’s games.

Athletic director Jim Donovan said there could come a time when admission is charged for softball, but UH is wary of scaring away the crowd and admission will remain free this year.

UH tried charging admission more than 10 years ago when it had a very strong team, but lost a lot of its crowd.

“We do have data and it tells us that without admission we had 1,000-plus and with admission we had 300-400. We want to keep the homefield element. If you have 1,200 (stadium capacity) cheering for them it helps them win,” Donovan said. “That’s what’s most important to us, the success of the team.”

Also, the logistics to charge admission, including ticket takers and security, is an expense that is factored into the overall equation.

That doesn’t mean a successful softball team can’t produce revenue to help offset the expense of the program; in fact, last year the team’s booster club grew, and generated money that helped defray the program’s expenses partly by soliciting donations at games.

Fans can also donate any amount of money they want by going to the Koa Anuenue web site.

“Someone could even do that sitting in the stands with their smart phone,” UH associate AD John McNamara said. “You could be having a great time and decide you want to donate and do it right there if you want.”

More Hide Yamashita testimonials

February 5th, 2011
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Sad news, as Scott Robbs relays Hide Yamashita has died. He was in his 90s. Many Hawaii baseball fans remember him as the most prominent umpire for University of Hawaii baseball games. But he also stayed busy as a softball ump, even in recent years.

I always remember Hide as very friendly, a gentleman, even when someone protested a call of his (which I never found reason to do).

And, as told in this story about his son, there’s much more to Hide, going back to World War II and his days as a baseball player and solider.

***

The following is from Roy Mizushima, one of many umpires who considered Hide a great mentor:

Thanks for your blog on Hide’s passing.  He used to umpire the Financial Mountainball league for many years and he helped me get started in umpiring both softball and little league baseball.  He was very positive and willing to share his experience and knowledge.  He treated everyone with respect.  I especially  enjoyed my before and after game chats with him.

I was a little hesitant about umpiring baseball behind the plate (calling balls and strikes) but he kept encouraging me and gave me a set of chest protector and shin guards to get me going.  I’ve been doing it for several years now and always think about him when I put the gear on.  He served as my model for how to be an umpire.  He never got angry and raised his voice.  He was a true peacemaker and enjoyed being on the field with all the players and coaches.  That’s how I try to be – just like Hide.

We all will miss him.  He was the BEST!

UH football to play Navy in ’13, ’15

February 4th, 2011
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>> The Warriors will visit the Midshipmen on Nov. 9, 2013, and Navy will play UH at Aloha Stadium (assuming it’s still there) on Nov. 28, 2015.

>> Usually by two days prior to the Super Bowl, I have a clear idea of which team I think is more likely to win the game. Not this year. I keep going back and forth between the Packers and the Steelers. I’ll make a choice in time for Sunday’s column.

>> Heading to Blaisdell for the girls state championship finals. I’ll be filing some updates, probably on Facebook … maybe some here, but I’m still learning how to use the smart phone.