Honu pitcher on ultimate vacation
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Will someone pinch North Shore Honu pitcher Jason Godin?
It's to remind him he's not dreaming. He is, indeed, in Hawai'i.
"That was weird when I found out I was coming here," said Godin, in his third season of pro ball after being drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fifth round in 2006. "A lot of people called and said they saw that (Hawai'i) was my dream vacation. I was excited to come out here. I've never been here before and it's been a great experience so far."
What people saw was Godin's biography in a 2006 Old Dominion baseball media guide. Under dream vacation, he listed Hawai'i.
"You always hear great things about the state and all the beautiful places (here)," Godin said of his reason to list the 50th state.
As a son of a military father, Godin moved a lot. He's been west of here, spending about five years in Korea. He's been north, albeit for about three weeks, as he was born in Alaska. He's also lived in Seattle, New York and finally Virginia. His older brother, Nick, was once stationed at Schofield Barracks for four years. But this is Godin's first tour of the islands and the uniform he wears has numbers, not camouflage.
Godin, whose mother is Korean, has quickly found a familiar taste. He was raised on Korean food his mother prepared, so he was thrilled to find many Korean restaurants available, including one near his Waikiki rental.
"I eat a little Korean food," said Godin. "Maybe too much. I'm gaining all my weight back. I'm trying some of the Hawaiian food. I'm trying to experience as much as I can while I'm out here."
His favorite dish is kalbi, adding that it is less expensive here than in Virginia.
Godin said he is trying to get his mother to come out to visit him. His team also has players from the Lotte Giants of Korea Baseball Organization.
"It would be nice for her to come out here," Godin said. "We have Korean players on the team who can talk to her. It would be cool."
But he hasn't picked up much of the Korean language.
"Just little bit, like, 'I'm hungry' and 'Hello,' " he said. "I couldn't hold a conversation if I tried."
Godin said he started playing baseball when he lived in Korea from grade school. He was on a military base team that played games against Korean youth teams. He said it was a good learning experience.
"Just watching them play taught me to try to be as good as they were because they always beat us," he said of the Korean teams. "We were never as good as they were."
He eventually played his high school ball in Virginia. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 47th round in 2002 out of North Stafford High, but opted to accept a scholarship to Old Dominion over Clemson and South Carolina. The 6-foot-5, 170-pound right-hander pitched for Old Dominion in 2003 and 2004, red-shirted in 2005, and returned in 2006.
Godin spent the past season at High-A Wilmington of the Carolina League, where he was 2-7 with a 5.33 ERA, making 14 starts. He is tied for third with 18 strikeouts in HWB. He picked up his first win last week, evening his record to 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA.
Off the field, Godin has been enjoying the sights, like watching the big waves on the North Shore. He also hopes to try parasailing.
"I don't know if my heart can take it," he said. "It's kind of high up there."
It's not unusual for parents of players to plan a vacation to visit their sons.
Honu catcher Jason Castro said his family was here last week. He said he and his family have vacationed here twice before.
Also, Honu outfielder Logan Schafer's parents and older brother are in town through Monday. Schafer was a teammate of pitcher Derrick Saito (Baldwin '05) the past couple seasons at Cal Poly. Schafer also was a teammate of 2004 Kalani graduate Ty Sarchet at Cuesta JC.
EXTRA OFF DAY
The league resumes play today and tomorrow at Hans L'Orange Park. But there are no games Thursday.
Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.