I’m going to the motherland tomorrow for a long weekend. Honolulu, where it all began. For me, anyway. Pop’s getting inducted to the Punahou Athletic Hall of Fame. I finally spent a couple hours this weekend scanning some of the materials my old man gave me. Below are a few of the letters of his recommendation submitted to the Hall from coaches and teammates. One name you may already know: Uncle Norm Chow.
I have a vague memory of Mike Lum, the big lefthand stick my old man was once teammates with. Mike went on to play in the bigs with the Cubs, the Braves, and the Cincinnati Reds. One night my dad took me to a Dodger game to play the Reds here in Los Angeles. It was my generation’s good old Dodger days; Garvey, Lopes, Cey, Yeager, Baker, et al. Pop’s buddy Mike was in town. I must’ve been about six or seven years old. We went to the game, Mike had a hit. After that, the only memories I have were waking up on my dad’s shoulder in a dark hotel lounge. Dad and I were chilling with a bunch of guys in leisure suits holding cocktails. One of them, Uncle Mike, gave me the old “pat the buddy’s kid on the head and pretend like you mean it” maneuver, along with a baseball signed by the Cincinnati Reds. I’d imagine they had several barrels of those balls for the guys to use on these types of occasions.
To put things in an on-field perspective: a traveling U.S. team of fourteen players was chosen to play Japan back in 1961, with talent pulled from two states in the union, California and Hawaii. Mike and Dad both came from the Hawaii pool. Mike Lum batted fourth. Pop? Third. THAT DUDE HAD STICK.
Below, some of the paperwork involving the induction gig: