Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, July 24, 2005

Former Rainbows gather for reunion

Advertiser Staff


What started out as a way for a handful of ex-players to honor their former coach, Les Murakami, has turned into the first University of Hawai'i-Manoa baseball alumni reunion.

Players from four decades will assemble at the Hale Koa Hotel Saturday, according to former UH pitcher Sam Kakazu, who is one of the organizers of the event that will run from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"Some people see (Murakami) around once in a while but for several of us it has been quite a few years," said Kakazu, who played from 1977 through '81. "Getting together with Coach Les was the impetus and, then, it just took off from there. The more people we talked to, the more who wanted to get involved and, pretty soon, it just mushroomed."

The event is open to former UH players and their families and Kakazu said he expects more than 50 to attend, including several from the Mainland. KKEA sportscaster Don Robbs will emcee the event.

"If this works out it is something we'd like to try to do again to get even more (players) involved," Kakazu said. "There just wasn't time to hunt down everybody. Over the years a lot of them have spread out and been hard to find."

Murakami coached more than 500 players in a Hall of Fame career that stretched from 1971 to his retirement for health reasons in 2001.

He compiled a 1,079-570-4 record and led UH to six Western Athletic Conference championships and a runner-up finish in the 1980 College World Series.

"Just like the spirit of UH baseball, everyone is chipping in to help make the reunion a success and lots of fun," Kakazu said.

Tickets are $50 per person. For more information, call 247-5771.