Ex-owner of Asahi baseball
is killed in forklift accident

By Nelson Daranciang

Angel Shiro Maehara, credited with spreading Hawaii good will by taking his Asahi baseball team to play in tournaments throughout Asia in the 1950s to the 1970s, died Monday in a forklift accident at Honolulu Airport.

The forklift carrying a large container struck and ran over the 83-year-old Maehara, owner and president of Air-Flo Express.

He was walking across an airport access road.

"He did a lot for the people of Hawaii," said Eddie Hayashi, Aloha Stadium manager.

Hayashi played for Maehara and later coached the Asahi team of the Hawaii Baseball League.

Maehara bought the Asahi team from Mackay Yanagisawa in 1955.

During the 20 years he owned the team, Maehara took Asahi to play in tournaments in the Philippines, Japan, Okinawa and Taiwan, Hayashi said.

In 1974, Asahi beat a heavily favored Cuban national team 5-3 in a goodwill tournament in Japan.

Maehara also served as an aide to former Honolulu Mayor Neal Blaisdell, who was Asahi field manager when the team won the Hawaii Baseball League in 1942.

The owner of the team that year was John A. Burns, who later was elected Hawaii's first Democratic governor.

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