Aloha Means Batter Up!…
Alright, BF got me going on a Hawaii direction with his Tunnels Beach sunset yesterday. Given that there was a Giants day off, I figured why not look at the history of baseball in Hawaii?
The Hawaii Islanders were an AAA team from 1961 to 1988 in the PCL. They had originally been the Sacramento Solons, but then moved off the mainland to Honolulu. The Islanders originally were affiliated with the Athletics, then for a longer while the Angels, and actually drew a ton in their heyday — 400K fans saw them in 1970, leading the entire minors. Because of the distance from the mainland, the schedule was such that visiting teams made 4 to 7 game visits to Honolulu, and then the Islanders would do the same back on the mainland.
There are some pretty cool names associated with the Islanders. In the 1960’s their broadcaster was Harry Kalas, who then went to the mainland to be replaced by a familiar name — Hank Greenwald, who then went on to the Giants, succeeded in Honolulu by a guy named Al Michaels.
Later on, the Islanders became affiliated with the Pads, and then shortly before they closed down in the late 1980’s they were affiliated with the Pirates and the White Sox. They bagged Honolulu and moved to Colorado Springs in 1988 as the Sky Sox. Some noted alumni Islanders:
- Barry Bonds, hit .311 in 44 games in 1986, then got called up to the Pirates.
- Clete Boyer, Bobby Valentine, Tony Gwynn, Diego Segui, Tim Flannery
- Bob Lemon, Chuck Tanner, Rocky Bridgers, Doug Rader, Tom Trebelhorn.
For an earlier history of pro baseball in Hawaii and a run down on the 1970 Islanders — rated #38 in the top 100 minor league teams of the 20th Century — check this link. http://www.milb.com/milb/history/top100.jsp?idx=38 Not sure how you could focus on baseball and learn some ball while you were living in such a paradise as Hawaii. That seems to be hard to do. Otherwise, Mahalo, Aloha and Go Giants!…