Ex-big leaguer Trout named Moloka'i coach
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
The Moloka'i Farmers have won two state baseball titles, produced a major league player and have had a number of players selected in the Major League draft.
Now it has a former big leaguer for a coach.
Steve Trout, who had 88 career victories in 12 major league seasons — including five each with the Cubs and White Sox — will be the Farmers' fourth coach in as many seasons.
"Since I make baseball my livelihood — I've been in the game 30-plus years — I thought it would be a good thing to do. It's something I enjoy," said Trout, 52, who pitched in the big leagues from 1978 to 1989.
A resident of Florida, Trout said he has been visiting a friend on Moloka'i the past three years. He answered an ad in the Moloka'i Dispatch, Moloka'i athletic director Camie Kimball said.
"Even if we only have him for one year, the assistant coach and players can learn from him," Kimball said. "If he doesn't come back next year, bummer. But he might come back next year. There's no guarantees when I hire somebody. Like the coach that I had last year was only here for one year.
"It was one of those things where it was a great opportunity and why not take advantage of it and get as much as we can out of him."
Kimball admitted to not being much of a baseball fan, so she "Googled him."
"I thought, 'Wow,' " she said.
According to his Web site, SteveTrout.com, Trout does speaking engagements and camps. He said he also coached at a Sarasota, Fla., high school for two years.
"There's been pretty good enthusiasm with the boys," Trout said of his players. "There's some issues in getting to know each other. We have some good, talented, young kids. Some big, strong kids who can hit and pitch. We have some good defensive players as well."
Kimball understands there this is an adjustment for the coach and players.
"I don't think it's an easy thing for him because he's from the Mainland," Kimball said. "Local people get kind of set in their ways, but we're working on it."
The Farmers have a strong baseball tradition, having won state titles in 1999 and 2000. Alumnus Keith Lu'uloa made his big league debut with the Anaheim Angels in 2000.
Moloka'i opens its season March 26 on Maui.