Chicago Cubs: Low risk for Cubs and MLB to play in Hawaii

Aloha Stadium, Cardinals v Padres, Chicago Cubs (Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport)
Aloha Stadium, Cardinals v Padres, Chicago Cubs (Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport) /
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Aloha Stadium, Chicago Cubs (Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport) /

Chicago Cubs: Growing up with baseball in Hawaii

Many people in the mainland United States do not understand how popular baseball is in Hawaii. The most popular sport on the water is surfing and paddleboarding, but from the time kids are barely walking on the island, they are at the ballpark playing baseball.

Consider this; the very first Chicago Cubs team (they were called the White Stockings then) was a founding member of the National League in 1876. However, the very first mention of baseball in Hawaii was back in 1860 when Hawaii was still a Kingdom under Kamehameha IV.

The Polynesian newspaper wrote of an event in April of that year when Esplanade, the Punahou Boys and the Town Boys (Pick-up ball clubs) played the first known game of baseball – on the Sheriff’s property! So Hawaii people were already following baseball almost 50 years when the Cubs won their first World Series (back-to-back) in 1907 and 1908.

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The largest ethnic group by population in Hawaii ais the Japanese people. The Japanese people are crazy about baseball, which is why baseball is the number one sport in Japan! Many brought that love of the game when they came to Hawaii and so became coaches and assistants to the baseball teams on the island. With so many Japanese in the population, it’s no wonder that baseball is so prevalent in Hawaii.

Although there is also a deep love of football on the island and pride because of the many years the NFL hosted the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, there are more leagues, tournaments, clubs and games for baseball player youths in Hawaii. The game is played year-round with no significant breaks, while football is really only played in the fall/ winter time. With so few games of football, the one’s that do get played on the island are usually very emotional, nail-biter affairs.

The Japanese parents of all those kids playing baseball don’t work for the park district; they are high-powered politicians, executives and business-people throughout the islands. In a sense, they run the island and could have an impact if MLB came to Hawaii.

Everyone after work, no matter what walk-of-life, meets at their ballpark as the kids practice daily or are playing a 7-inning game. Work and baseball is a way of life and why it would be so tempting to hear a plan to bring all of MLB to Hawaii for a season.