By Al Chase
email@example.comName: Rose NishiLegions of Rainbow baseball players know her as Aunty Rose, the smiling, effervescent, energetic lady waiting to serve them a nourishing meal after a game at Rainbow Stadium.
Position: Supervising legal clerk for City & Country of Honolulu corporation council.
People would be surprised to know: The last couple of years I've been taking classes in reiki (touch healing) and I study internal martial arts for individual health.
Family ties: Husband Bob played baseball for Sheridan under retired UH coach Les Murakami, and daughter Renee was the Rainbows bat girl for many seasons.
Her 20-plus years of volunteering "to feed the boys" began in a little shack behind first base soon after the original Rainbow Stadium opened. There was a little, two-burner counter stove and not much else.
"I could stand in one place and reach everything," Nishi said. "Those were the fun days. We kept it simple, selling hot dogs, hamburgers and saimin. We did plate lunches for a while, but that didn't last because I couldn't keep up with the volume."
The snack shack was operated to generate money to feed the team after games. Eventually there was a regular stove, a sink and an ice machine.
When the present Rainbow Stadium was built, Murakami told Nishi to take a break. It lasted less than a year because some of the players weren't eating properly and were losing weight.
Nishi would order out for Friday games and cook at home for the Saturday and Sunday games. When UH started playing Thursday games, she took a vacation day.
"It started off cooking for about 50, then it got extended to family members and girlfriends and alumni and the grounds crew," said Nishi.
"The joy I got out of all this came during alumni week. That's when the boys really express their appreciation. They don't realize what's been done for them until after they leave the program."
Nishi cooked her final meal for the Rainbows on May 19. Now she will have time to enjoy her 3-year-old granddaughter Erica and golf.
"My golf game isn't very good, but when baseball started each year, it really went sour," Nishi said.
To nominate a volunteer, call 529-4782