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• The ‘Goose’ is golden
The ‘Goose’ is golden
By Duane Shimogawa Jr. – The Garden Island
Not a lot of people get to meet and mingle with their childhood heroes, but for me, I got the lucky opportunity to meet up with Levon “Goose” Largusa, who was a star pitcher for the University of Hawai‘i Rainbow Baseball squad, back in the early 90s.
I used to watch Rainbow sports religously back then and baseball was no exception.
“Goose” caught my eye when he started pitching during his first year on the team.
It’s truly rare for a true freshman to start for any NCAA division I team and Largusa made it happen.
Domingo Largusa, Levon’s uncle, called me up about a week ago and mentioned that his nephew would be in town for the Largusa family reunion.
At first, I thought he was playing games, but after a few minutes, I knew he was legit.
But if not for Domingo, I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet someone who, I used to idolize growing up.
I never played baseball, but I admired Levon as an athlete who used to surprise everyone, which eventually led to him being honored on the freshman all-American squad.
His ties to Kaua‘i remain strong. He told me that he’d like to move back to any of the islands, but Kaua‘i seems to be his favorite.
In just about an hour chatting with him and his wife Ann, I could tell that the “Goose” was golden.
Why? Well, he didn’t fit into that stereotype of a baseball player, who has been through all the hype and attention.
Instead, he remains grounded, thanks in part to his two parents, Norman and Norma (Yes it’s Norman and Norma, I didn’t misspell their names).
What impressed me the most though was the way he talked about his 10-year-old daughter Taylor, who is the apple of his eye.
Yet another credit to the “Goose” is the way he talked about coaching. He was stern when he said that the way he coaches is the way he was taught, which is very important.
If you were taught the right way from the start by your coaches, then the only way you know is the right way and the “Goose” has most, if not all, figured out.
The three keys he noted are (in this order) 1) Teaching your athlete to be a good citizen, 2) Stressing the importance of being a great student, and 3) Learning life’s lessons from the game is imperative.
The “Goose” is just like any other local person.
He’s approachable, he’s respectful, and he’s a hard worker and if you don’t believe me, then ask one of his coaches, especially Les Murakami.
Believe me, there aren’t many people out there like the “Goose” and we’re just lucky that he’s a Kaua‘i boy at heart!
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