Hawaii Baseball

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hawaiian teammates

Dane Sardinha and Shane Victorino played together in the field for the Philadelphia Phillies last night. This isn't the first time that native Hawaiians have teamed up but it is the first time that both teammates were non-pitchers.

Doug Capilla and Mike Lum were the first Hawaiians to play together for a single major league baseball team. Capilla and Lum were on the Reds together in 1977 and 1978. Capilla was then traded to the Cubs and Lum, after being traded to the Braves and then released, rejoined Capilla in Chicago in 1981.

Of course, the most notable Hawaiian teammates were New York Mets pitchers Ron Darling and Sid Fernandez. The pair won almost 200 games for the Mets, most of those as teammates, and they led the Mets to the 1986 World Championship over the Boston Red Sox. The duo were together on the Mets from 1984 to 1991.

Darling had been teammates with another Hawaiian in his rookie season. Carlos Diaz relieved Darling in Darling's first major league appearance on September 6, 1983. In the offseason, Diaz was traded with Bob Bailor to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Fernandez and Ross Jones.

In 1991 and 1992, a pair of Hawaiians on the Chicago White Sox might have caused some confusion. The Sox had pitcher Charlie Hough and outfielder Mike Huff playing for them. Despite having their last names spelled different, they sounded the same.

Victorino reached the majors in 1993 where he joined Hawaiian Brandon Villafuerte on the San Diego Padres. This was the last time two Hawaiians would play together for fourteen years.

The most recent pair of Hawiians to play together in the major leagues before last night were pitcher Shane Komine and catcher Kurt Suzuki. Although Komine only played four games in the majors, on July 17, 2007 he came in from the bullpen to finish a game against the Texas Rangers. Suzuki was his catcher.

There may be hope for two more Hawaiians to become teammates this season as both have played for the Royals. The newest Hawaiian to reach the majors, Kanekoa Texeira, is now with the Kansas City Royals. Kila Ka'aihue was up briefly with them before being returned to Omaha before Texeira arrived.


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