Letters for Monday, April 24, 2017

• Notable moments in island baseball • ‘Valor with Honor’ a great tribute

Notable moments in island baseball history

Having been the official arbitrator and scorer for the baseball KIF for 20 years, I want to sincerely congratulate Hank Ibia, his coaches and his fine team for again wining the KIF championship.

I also want to congratulate coaches Aiwohi and Ephan from Kapaa and Waimea high schools for battling from start to finish for the league title and never letting their players stop fighting and hustling. Someone has to win and someone has to lose but no competitors should ever quit trying and that is what these two teams did.

Hopefully the Red Raiders can perform at their peak level at the state finals and can bring back the championship that they so well deserve.

And, as long as we are talking baseball (my favorite sport!) I would like to bring up a phenomenon that happened here on Kauai that has never happened before, nor will it ever happen again.

The odds of a baseball player — youth, high school, college or minor leaguer — ever getting to the big leagues are extremely low. But amazingly enough we had two brothers, Tyler and Kirby Yates, from this tiny island in the Pacific making it to the major leagues. Truly unbelievable! The odds of this happening are probably in the millions or greater and, to my knowledge has never happened before, nor will it ever happen again.

And, another “first” for me was to see the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Kirby Yates put a 90 mph number on my “slow” radar gun whereas his brother, 6-foot-4, 235-pound Tyler at the same age put 87 mph on this gun. Of course with Pittsburgh Tyler was putting upper 90s on the gun but, to this day no one but Kirby has come close to throwing that hard on my gun.

Congratulations to Gary and Janna Yates for raising two phenomenal young men who have made Kauai proud for their accomplishments and setting the standards for other young ball players here on Kauai. But, as my friend the legendary John Wooden always said, be the best you can be not matter if it is in sports or any other avenue of life.

Glenn Mickens, Kapaa

‘Valor with Honor’ a great tribute

“Valor with Honor” will be screened on Vimeo starting May for Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

“‘Valor with Honor’ not only records the deeds and emotions of the veterans of the 442nd, but highlights the difficult struggle of the brave Nisei both on and off the battlefield. It is a suburb documentary,” said Professor Joe Roth, San Jose State University.

“Valor” is an 80-minute documentary film based on over 30 oral histories of Japanese- American World War II vets who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

The entire film is told by these aging vets sharing their personal experiences fighting in fierce battles across Italy, France and Germany.

“Valor with Honor” preserves vivid firsthand accounts of fierce battles, dramatic rescues, and the liberation of Jewish prisoners.

Burt Takeuchi, San Jose, Calif.

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