Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Another member of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame dies

Big Island Sports Hall of Fame

Another member of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame dies

Walter ‘Satch’ Pakele, who made his pitch with Big Island teams in the Amateur Softball Association and later coached at the UH Hilo died earlier this month after a bout with cancer.  He was 65.

Pakele had a reputation of being one of the greatest men’s fastball pitchers in Hawaii.

Pakele pitched for the Kalakoas Softball Club in 1977 and hurled 64 complete games en route to 54 victories to lead his team to four tournament championships as well as a Parks and Recreation title.

Pakele was inducted into the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.  

He also pitched for Puueo Poi and the Hilo Fil-Americans.

Pakele went on to assist Calen Perreira at Hilo High, which was his alma mater, and then followed Perreira to UHH where h became the Vulcan pitching coach.

Pakele joins Honomu Rocket legend Martin Esteban Jr., who also died of cancer on Jan 3, 2012.  Esteban was also a member of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.

The BISHF will add black ribbons on the photo to those that passed in 2012.  You can see all those inducted into the BISHF on the PKP wall next to Macy’s Men’s Shop and IHOP.

The BISHF was founded by the late Jack Matsui.

Related link:    https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/martin-esteban-jr-honomu-rocket-legend-dies-of-cancer/

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June 23, 2012 Posted by | softball | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Island Sports Wall of Fame to be Moved in 2013

BISHF wall to be moved

The Big Island Sports Hall of Fame has decided to forego nominations and inductions for 2012.

BISHF directors meet with Price Kuhio Plaza management and together decided that the current wall of Fame in the Plaza is out of existing wall space to accommodate an additional class of inductees, according to BISHF Chairman, Jerry Chang.

“We met with Kimberly Shimabuku and Beverly Crudele of PKP and they expressed their concerns that we are running out of space on the existing wall,” Chang said.

Shimabuku and Crudele informed the BISHF that PKP will be going through a complete renovation in 2013 and they felt that would be a good time to relocate the wall to a bigger space to make the necessary improvement.

“The board decided to wait till after the renovation and location of new wall space before inducting a new class,” Chang said

The BISHF currently pays a monthly rental fee to PKP for the wall space which is located next Macy’s and IOP.

The Big Island Sports Hall of Fame was founded by the late Jack Matsui.

March 15, 2012 Posted by | Events | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gerry Earl Meyer selected Big Island Sports Person of the Year for 2012

Gerry Meryer

Gerry Meyer, a highly respected baseball coach for decades working with youth, high school and college players, has been selected the 2011 Big Island Sportsperson of the Year. A former star pitcher in his early days, he has spent countless hours helping young players hone their skills on the diamond, a positive trend that has continued for years and years.

Over the years there have been many sports legends that have left their mark on our island community.  One such baseball legend is Gerry Earl Meyer who I recently had the pleasure of meeting at the rededication of the ‘Wall’.

   Meyer had begun to make his mark during the late 1940’s and early 50’s as a basketball and baseball star for the Honokaa Dragons.

   “I was lucky enough to receive a baseball scholarship to Fresno State College,” Meyer said.  “Right out of high school I signed and played with the Tigers in the Hawaii baseball League in Honolulu before leaving for college.”

   In 1953 Meyer signed with the St. Louis Cardinals and pitched in the California League.  “I injured my left index finger after the season and that ended my future hopes of going any further in professional baseball,” he said.

   Meyer returned to the Big Island in 1954 and pitched for the Hilo All-Stars Senior League against the Ed Lopat Major League All-Stars.

   “I pitched under coaches George Thompson with the Lincoln Wreckers and James Correa of the Puna Braves,” Meyer said.

   In 1955 Meyer got to be the starting pitcher against New York when the Yankees came to Hoolulu Park to play an exhibition game.

   During his illustrious career in sports Meyer had won a variety of honors and in 1960 reached the pinnacle of his pitching career.  While playing in the Hilo Baseball league Meyer pitched five consecutive shutouts in 102 innings of work and allowed only two earned runs for a remarkable 0.17 earned run average.

   “During that pitching string I was able to strike out 88 batters and walked 14,” he said.  Meyer finish the 1960 season with 12 wins and 2 loses with 121 strike-outs and a 0.32 ERA.

   Needless to say that Meyer received the Most Valuable Player Award for his stellar performance during the 1960 season.

  Four years later Meyer led the Hilo All-Stars to the first ever state championship.  “This was the first time an outside island team ever won,” Meyer said.  “Honolulu had dominated the baseball state title for a number of years, so this was a high point for us.”

   Throughout four decades Meyer had not only played sports but helped the community with his knowledge through coaching.

   “I helped organize the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) in Honokaa and I coached Little League baseball, boy’s basketball, women’s softball and men’s fast pitch softball,” he said.

   Meyer was also the assistant Varsity Baseball coach and assistant Junior Varsity basketball coach at Honokaa under head coaches Jackie Kitagawa and Harry Kim.

   “I’ve coached for over 40 years and with a number of different teams,” Meyer said.  “In 1976 I was President of the Hilo Junior Golf Association and together with Larry Tanimoto was instrumental in obtaining slots for Hawaii to the Junior World Golf Tournament in San Diego.”

   Meyer even coached three years at for the Hilo College Vulcans Baseball Team.  “I was the pitching coach for the Vulcans, from 1986 to ’88,” he said.  In those final two years the team made it to the College World Series in Idaho.”

  Along the way Meyer also coached a variety of talented Big Island Interscholastic Federation pitchers, two of which were named the BIIF Players of the Year.

   “I am honored to give of my time and the knowledge to all of the youngsters that have had the pleasure of working with and over the years two young pitchers, Aaron Correa and Charles Haasenritter were named players of the year in the BIIF,” Meyer said.

   Today the retired Police Sergeant continues to help whoever and whenever he can.  “I have parents and coaches that still call me for help,” Meyer said.  “I continue to give back to the community with my knowledge as I work with youngsters from age 9 to college.”

  Meyer has always believed in bringing young pitchers along slowly.  “I do not let my young pitchers throw any curves, it’s not necessary, so as not to ruin their career at a young age,” he said.

   There have also been difficult moments for Coach Meyer as he’s watched some of his players style of throwing changed in later development.  “There are times when it becomes very frustrating when coaches try to change the mechanics of the pitchers I work with and they will call me and tell me that they are confused and having a hard time,” Meyer said.

   Meyer is just one of the many fine examples of people that have been inducted into the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame’s mission is dedicated to honor, preserve and promote knowledge of significant accomplishments in sports within the County of Hawaii and those that have been selected, like Meyer, have put in countless years of expertise into helping promote a positive experience in sports participation.

The annual awards are part of the athlete of the month program sponsored by Don’s Grill, under owner Don Hoota. The athlete of the month as well as athlete and sportsperson of the year programs were founded by the late Jack Matsui. Wong, also the 2007 Big Island Athlete of the Year winner, and Meyer each received a plaque and a $100 gift certificate from Don’s Grill.

The monthly winners and athlete of the year are chosen by the program’s selection committee, which includes Costales, Hugh Clark, Goya and chairman Bill O’Rear. The sportsperson of the year is chosen from nominations submitted by the public.

January 21, 2012 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Island Sports Hall of Fame induction on Sunday

     BIG ISLAND SPORTS HALL OF FAME CEREMONIES ON SUNDAY

The Big Island Sports Hall of Fame will have a ceremony at the Wall of Fame in the Prince Kuhio Mall on Sunday, August 21 at 10:30 am followed by a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens at noon.

The BISHF announced last month the seven inductees for the 13th class into the Wall of Fame as:

Sam Alameda, Sr. – basketball and Manager of the Waiakea Boxing Club

Dennis Asuncion (deceased) – Boxing, Coach and Official

Olizario Galo Fernandez – Basketball, Baseball and Coach

Robert Fitzgerald – Football and Baseball

Charles Ikeda – Basketball, Coach and Recreational Leader for Youth Organizations

John Clifford Kekua, Jr. (deceased) Canoe Paddling and Coach

Stephen L. Perry – Athletic Director, Coach, State Athletic Golf Coordinator

The seven inductees will be introduced and their photos will be displayed on the wall at the Prince Kuhio Plaza.  The public is invited to attend the unveiling and past inductees are encouraged to come out and support the newly inducted honorees.

Following the Wall dedication the ceremony will move to a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens at noon were a formal ceremony will take place.

For those interested in attending the luncheon the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under.  Seating is limited and tickets will not be sold at the door.

Advance tickets may be purchased by calling Ellsworth Fontes at 935-5519.

The late Jack Matsui was the founder of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.

August 19, 2011 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kohala’s Galo Fernandez to be inducted to Hall of Fame

Olizario Galo Fernandez from Kohala has been inducted into the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.

Born in 1937 Fernandez started his sports career by playing basketball and baseball for the 6th Regiment in Europe for three years.

Returning to Kohala in 1965 Fernandez began a 45 year coaching career for Park and Recreation and the Catholic Open League coaching both baseball and basketball.

Fernandez also spent six years coaching the Kohala High School Baseball team where he son, Don, succeeded him and is the current Cowboy coach.

During the last 21 years Fernandez has played and coached the Kohala Seniors softball team.

For all that he has accomplished in Big Island sports Fernandez will be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday, August 21. The BISHF will have a ceremony at the Wall of Fame in the Prince Kuhio Mall, 10:30 am to induct Fernandez and the six other deserving selections.

“We will introduce the seven and display their photos to the wall,” BISHF selection committee chair Derek Shigematsu said.  “We are hoping that past inductees and the general public will come out to support the newly inducted honorees.”

Following the Wall dedication the ceremony will move to a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens at noon were a formal ceremony will take place.

For those interested in attending the luncheon the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under.  Seating is limited.

Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling Ellsworth Fontes at 935-5519.

The late Jack Matsui was the founder of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.

Related Links:

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/diehard-boston-fan-hpas-stephen-perry/

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/county-pr-director-to-be-inducted-to-sports-hall-of-fame/

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/dennis-asuncion-inducted-into-big-island-sports-hall-of-fame/

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/canoe-paddling-icon-inducted-into-sports-hall-of-fame/

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/sam-alameda-to-be-inducted-into-sports-hall-of-fame/

https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/big-island-sports-hall-of-fame-to-induct-7/

August 10, 2011 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , | Leave a comment