Out of the Park
Meet the local players who went to the big leagues.
Maui-born-and-bred Shane Victorino led the Philadelphia Phillies to win the 2008 World Series title. You can be sure the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” and his team will be looking for another championship ring this year.
Also from Maui, Kurt Suzuki ( “Zuk” to his team mates) has been the starting catcher for the Oakland Athletics since 2007. Suzuki had the game-winning hit for Cal State Fullerton in the 2004 College World Series and would love to do the same on the big stage.
Hard-throwing relief pitcher Brandon “Big” League grew up on Oahu, where he attended St. Louis High School. League played the last four years for Toronto. This season he brings his blistering fastball to the Seattle Mariners, after being traded.
After a long season, the players above always return to Hawaii each winter. They catch up with family and friends, hit the beach and get a taste of local food again. They also take the time to do autograph sessions and promotional appearances for their legions of local fans. “We understand the rarity of baseball players from here making it to the big leagues. So while we’re in Hawaii, whenever possible, giving back to the community that supports us is always something we try and do,” says Kurt Suzuki, of the Oakland Athletics.