Open Shots

By Dave Reardon

Tuesday, June 10, 1997


Stop me if you’ve
heard this before. . .

SORTA NEWS ITEM: A six-member committee held its first meeting yesterday to establish a privately funded Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame.

Stop the presses! Some guys met to decide when to hold another meeting to decide how to come up with the criteria that will be used to determine who will be enshrined in the said, but mythical at this time, Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame.

Excuse me, but we've heard this one before. Every few years, some well-meaning folks start this project up and then forget about it when something more important, something like a sale on Spam, comes up.

OK, this committee is high-powered, and was appointed by the governor, who is a big sports fan. Maybe this time something will actually happen.

But we wish they wouldn't kill innocent trees with news releases until there's more than the breathless "and it will be on the Internet!"

If this does happen, here are some nominees (we've left out many just to get the debate going): Jackie Pung, Wally Yonamine, Bobo Olson, Andy Ganigan, Herman Wedemeyer, Ford Konno, Sid Fernandez, Derek Tatsuno, Jesse Sapolu, Stan Sheriff, David Ishii, Deitre Collins, Cal Lee, Dave Shoji, Mosi Tatupu, Akebono, Konishiki and the Fabulous Five.

Yes, heavily weighted from the '70s on. When Bill Kwon comes back from vacation, maybe he'll take a stab at picking more early greats who are deserving.

How about limiting the charter membership to the one who stands above all in Hawaii sports history (and you thought we forgot him)? That, of course, would be Duke Kahanamoku.

We can't think of a clever segue from the Duke to interleague baseball, so we'll just do it.

We've yet to hear an argument against interleague play that makes sense.

The question should be "What took so long?"

Why has baseball denied its fans classic matchups like Yankees-Mets, Cubs-White Sox, and A's-Giants for so many decades?

The so-called "purist" view that such matchups take away from the All-Star Game and the World Series is hogwash. If so, why are they allowed to play each other in spring training?

We challenge any real baseball fan (that doesn't include the dummies who said the Padre-Cardinal pitchers' duels at Aloha Stadium in April were boring) to not be entertained by the upcoming Braves and Orioles set.

And bravo for the wild card. Teams like the Mets and Expos deserve to be in the postseason hunt even though they are in the same division as the Braves.

Thank goodness for the strike two years ago if that's what it took for baseball to wake up and realize that it was time to make the game more interesting.

While baseball has been innovative the past couple years, it seems the pendulum may have swung back and hit the NBA in its collective fat butt.

There's nothing wrong with the product. Fans are just tired of the greed.

The Bulls and Jazz are in the midst of a classic series. And anyone who has watched closely (except perhaps Bill Walton) now realizes the low scores are due to great defense, not lousy offense.

But people continue to say it's boring. Go figure. This series has a little of everything:

Close, competitive games. Four of the best players ever. And your choice of oozing, pus-infested open sores that won't go away: the one on Karl Malone's hand or Dennis Rodman.

Seriously, appreciate these two fine teams while you can.

It seems the league could be a mere two words from King Michael's lips from disaster. If Jordan retires after this season, who has the talent, drive, charisma, class and stability to put the league on his back the way he did after Magic and Bird flew away?

If the trend continues, baseball will again be the true national pastime, and a lot of kids will be walking around wearing No. 24.

Dave Reardon is a magazine editor and freelance
writer who has covered Hawaii sports since 1977.
He can be reached via the Star-Bulletin or
by email at reardon@aloha.com.




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