Ichiro Suzuki, a former member of the Orix
Blue Waves organization, played for the Hilo Stars in 1993.
He was named the first ever HWB most valuable player (MVP)
in 1993. In 2001, Suzuki became the first Japanese-born position
player in MLB. He won the American League MVP and Rookie of
the Year awards that year. In 2004, he broke the 84-year-old
major league record for most hits in a season with 262.
Benny Agbayani was the first local player from the Hawai‘i
Winter Baseball league to play in MLB. Agbayani was a former
St. Louis High School football and baseball standout and starred
in baseball at Hawai‘i Pacific University. He played
three seasons for HWB, two with the Honolulu Sharks and one
with the West O‘ahu CaneFires, before debuting with the
New York Mets. He is now a star in the Nippon Professional
Baseball Organization’s Chiba Lotte Marines.
Jason Giambi played for the Kauai Emeralds in 1993. Two years
later Giambi debuted for the Oakland Athletics, where he rose
to all-star status. In 2000, Giambi was named the American
League MVP. After the 2001 season, he was offered a $120-million
contract to play first base for the New York Yankees.
Todd Helton, an all-star first baseman for the Colorado Rockies,
played for the Maui Stingrays in 1995. Helton is an all-around
athlete. He was a former University of Tennessee quarterback;
has won three Golden Glove Awards, four Silver Slugger Awards,
and he has been elected to numerous all-star teams. At the
start of the 2007 season, he had a .333 lifetime batting average.
Ichiro Suzuki |
Benny Agbayani |