Back on the island of Kauai and the rest of the Hawaiian islands, sports is a huge thing to people. Particularly in the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, and especially baseball. Because the geographical distance from the mainland makes it impossible for Hawaii to host a professional traveling team, the local fans of the game to this day are forced to choose and adopt their favorite Major League ballclub as their emotional own, which is usually either the Giants or the Dodgers.
This did not, however, keep the folks from participating in our favorite pastime first-hand back in the good old days. This is before Hawaii joined the Union, mind you. Inter-island play thrived, and the Albao family of boys were something of legend.
From left to right: Uncle Eddie (OF), Uncle Willie (SS), Uncle Henry (C), and my Grampa and poker teacher, Cecil (3B). 1946. Kauai.
We lost the last of them, my Uncle Eddie, in September of 2003. As I look at this classic photo, I can’t help but imagine them all turning around, walking to the edge of the outfield behind them, and disappearing into the sugar cane field.
Happy Memorial Day.