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Dave Eldredge lived a full baseball life


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POSTED: Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Even at life's end, David “;Dave”; Eldredge III was close to baseball, as well as family.

Eldredge died yesterday of a heart attack on his way home from a youth tournament in Arizona. He would have celebrated his 78th birthday in December.

Dave was with his son, Duane, and they were doing what the ohana has done for decades: coaching baseball. Duane takes a team of local youth all-stars to the mainland each year, and Dave — even advancing in age and in declining health — always joined him to help however he could.

“;He was stubborn and he would always go,”; said his brother, Pal.

If it has to do with baseball in Hawaii, the Eldredge family has been in the middle of it since 1919, when Dave's dad, David Pinkham Kaiana “;Pop”; Eldredge II, started his career at 12 playing with older boys.

Dave was also a precocious player.

“;My first baseball memory is of being a batboy for one of Pop's teams,”; Dave told the Star-Bulletin's Cindy Luis in a 1996 feature article on Hawaii's most prominent family of baseball coaches. “;My fondest memory is of being a 9-year-old in an adult league game. They were short one man and Pop put me in right field.”;

Pal, 13 years younger than Dave, remembers his brother as an all-around athlete and then a longtime teacher and coach at Punahou.

“;He was a 12-letter guy. In those days you could play varsity as a freshman (in ILH football),”; Pal said.

Dave coached the three sports he played more than 40 years, and he taught science and Hawaiian studies.

“;He really cared for the kids he coached,”; Pal said. “;He took care and pride in educating them in the ways of sports and life.”;

The legacy continues to this day in Buffanblu athletics: Dave's grandson, David “;Kaiana”; Eldredge V, is a quarterback at Punahou and an outstanding baseball catcher, like so many of his relatives were. He is the son of David “;Boy”; Eldredge IV, the baseball coach at Southern Utah.

Dave is also survived by his wife Jean, daughter Cynthie Keeno and 12 other grandchildren. The family was working last night on services.

» Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin has diagnosed what's wrong with his team that has lost four games in a row.

“;We've got to finish on offense,”; he said yesterday. “;On defense we have to make plays.

“;We're not attacking (on defense). We are swarming and gang tackling, but we're doing it downfield.”;

The Warriors are also not scoring in the third quarter. UH's only 10 third-quarter points came against FCS (Division I-AA) Central Arkansas in the season-opening victory.

In the five games since against FBS (Division I) opponents, in which UH is 1-4, the Warriors have been outscored 49-0.

You can draw your own conclusions, but one phrase comes quickly to mind: halftime adjustments.

Saturday's opponent, Boise State, has outscored opponents 58-42 in the third quarter. Only Oregon outdid the unbeaten Broncos, 8-6.

» If you didn't get your memento for being at UH volleyball coach Dave Shoji's 1,000th victory at last night's LaTech match, you can still do so by showing your ticket stub from Saturday's win over New Mexico State at Friday's match against Brigham Young-Hawaii.

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Reach Star-Bulletin sports columnist Dave Reardon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), his “;Quick Reads”; blog at starbulletin.com, and twitter.com/davereardon.