(WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii) –The Na Koa Ikaika Maui Team of the North American League, the premier independent minor league in western North America, today announced that they have traded for Japanese pitching sensation Eri Yoshida from the Chico Outlaws.
She will report to Maui at the end of this week and will join the team when it comes home to start their next homestand on August 2nd against Edmonton. She rejoins Manager Garry Templeton and a half dozen teammates from the 2010 Chico Outlaws Championship team who all play for Maui now.
Yoshida, 19, made headlines and impressed the baseball world last summer when she became the first female to play professionally in Japan and the U.S. Equipped with a sidearm knuckleball that is considered almost un-hittable when she is on, she has played for the Kobe Cruise 9 of the Kansai League in Japan and then in the Arizona Winter League in the U.S. in 2010 and 2011 and also with the Chico Outlaws last year. She also became the first female pro player to have a hit and an RBI in a professional men’s league and her jersey and bat from the 2010 Chico Outlaws were requested by, and are displayed in, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. She began playing baseball in the 2nd grade and credits Tim Wakefield as the inspiration for her 50 mph knuckleball delivered from her 5 foot 1 inch, 115 lb frame.
She made 8 starts for the Outlaws last year before ending her season early with a tired arm. Fully recovered, she pitched in the Arizona Winter League this February, but the tragic events in Japan in March sidetracked her ability to be ready to rejoin Chico in May when the season started. Turning down offers from Japanese minor league teams, she joined the amateur All Samurai Japan team to get fully prepared and also to be showcased to MLB scouts as the team traveled to southern California early this summer. She had a number of tryouts with MLB teams and was impressive, but did not receive a contract offer as she needed to demonstrate her effectiveness in a professional league against quality and experienced pro hitters.
She signed last week with the Chico Outlaws and started on Friday night against Maui, she left with a 4-3 lead as her team went on to win the game 8 – 4. Besides pitching in that game she survived two brushback pitches to draw a walk and then came around to score to give Chico the go ahead run of the game.
“I am excited to have Eri back pitching for me again,” said Maui Manager Garry Templeton. “She looked very good against us last week and has worked hard and improved a lot this past year. She deserves this chance to continue to develop her professional career and I’m glad we are able to offer her this opportunity.”
Yoshida almost signed with Maui earlier this summer but had commitments to her amateur team that she would not abandon and wanted to continue to sharpen her skills. After seeing her in action last week, Maui quickly worked out a deal with Chico to bring the Knuckle Princess to the islands.
“Although we wanted to keep her on the team, we also want to do what’s best for the player,” said Chico Manager and Team President Mike Marshall. “She pitched here in Chico all last year and giving her a chance for exposure to scouts in an additional market can really benefit her.”
Maui Owner Bob Young was pleased that the inevitable deal for the star Japanese player came through. “Many cast doubt that we would acquire her after our initial July announcement, but I am pleased to no end for the great fans on the Valley Isle that they will be able to now see first-hand the talents of this extraordinaire female athlete. We are excited to welcome Eri and know that all of Maui will extend our Aloha love and spirit to her.”
Yoshida will be in Maui on August 2nd and details of a press conference will be provided shortly.
“I will always be grateful to the Chico Outlaws for the opportunity they gave me last season and this summer too, but now I will try my best for Maui.” said Yoshida. “I am excited to play in Maui for Mr. Templeton and with my old teammates and also because we have family ties to the island and I am very comfortable there.”
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii – Mayor Alan Arakawa’s next “County on Your Corner” will be held on Saturday, July 30, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Lipoa Farmer’s Market located at 95 Lipoa Street, Kihei. Governor Neil Abercrombie is also scheduled to make an appearance at the event.
“It is important to connect with people face to face,” says Arakawa. “‘County on Your Corner,’ which is scheduled in a different location each month, is a good way for myself and members of my cabinet to interact with the community on the issues that are of most interest to them.”
Joining Arakawa at this “County on Your Corner” event will be Managing Director Keith Regan, Water Supply Director Dave Taylor, Prosecuting Attorney JD Kim, Housing & Human Concerns’ Deputy Director Jan Shishido, Executive on Aging Deborah Arendale, and Environmental Management Director Kyle Ginoza.
For more information, call 280-1299.
Honolulu – With no signs of a resolution to the national debt crisis, Governor Neil Abercrombie has taken steps to ensure that the State of Hawai’i is prepared.
Knowing that Congress has five days left to raise the debt ceiling and given the uncertainties if a solution is not found, Governor Abercrombie convened members of his cabinet and the state’s financial leaders to prepare for various scenarios.
“Together we are taking a sober look at the possibility of a federal default and the impact it could have on the State of Hawai’i,” said Governor Abercrombie. “We have a sound plan and are prepared to keep our economy stable. We are carefully managing the state’s finances and our local banks are ready to step forward if the need arises.”
House and Senate leadership are informed of the Administration’s plan. The Governor’s objectives are to avoid interruptions to programs that depend heavily on federal funding.
Budget and Finance Director Kalbert Young noted, “We have a cash conservation strategy with the intent to cover federally-funded state programs for a short period of time. We will have to wait to see which federal programs might see reduced funding, and by how much.”
The state’s top bankers have pledged their support to the Governor if the state finds temporary funding disruptions.
Hawai’i Bankers Association Executive Director Gary Fujitani said, “Our banking community has substantial liquidity that is ample to weather any temporary financial correction. We are ready to work with the state to ensure the continuance of a stable economy in Hawai’i.”
Governor Abercrombie added, “These past few days we have witnessed heightened political wrangling and rhetoric in Washington, D.C. that is causing many to lose faith in government. Here in Hawai’i, we know that government exists to serve the people and we understand that any challenge can be overcome when we all work together.”
The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a WIND ADVISORY for the HALEAKALA SUMMIT in effect until 2 p.m. this afternoon.
A Wind Advisory means that winds of 30 mph and gusts of 50 mph are expected.
EFFECTS: Winds will be northeast 25 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. Strong winds will continue through early this afternoon
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. SECURE ANY LOOSE OBJECTS THAT MAY BECOME AIRBORNE OR MOVE THEM INDOORS.
INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates.
NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.
Hawaiian Airlines is increasing its checked-baggage fee 70 percent for the first piece of luggage on interisland flights to $17 from $10, effective Sept. 1.
All other baggage fees for travel on Hawaiian remain unchanged, the airline said Tuesday after announcing it lost $50 million in the second quarter, its first loss in three years.
Passengers exempt from the change are those who are members of Hawaiian’s Premier, Pualani Gold and Pualani Platinum clubs; corporate members who book their tickets through Hawaiian’s corporate portal; customers traveling in first class; active U.S. military personnel traveling on military or government fares; those with car seats, infant carriers or strollers when customers are traveling with a child; and those with wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes and other personal assistive devices.
Glenn Taniguchi, Hawaiian’s senior vice president of marketing and sales, said the change will be the first that Hawaiian has instituted for interisland service since September 2009.
“We have changed other fees in step with the rest of the airline industry but have held the line on interisland baggage fees for the past two years,” he said. “Unfortunately, increasing costs of operation make this adjustment unavoidable. Our fees for interisland service remain lower than anywhere else in our system.”
A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued two Molokai fishermen after their 22-foot recreational boat capsized off Molokai Wednesday, the Coast Guard said.
The men ages, 47 and 52, told the Coast Guard their boat was about 100 yards offshore from Kukaiwaa Point on Molokai’s north side.
An Air Station Barbers Point-based Coast Guard helicopter happened to be on a routine training mission when two uinjured men flagged it down by using hand signals, the Coast Guard said.
The men were on the beach near Kukaiwaa Point.
A Coast Guard rescue swimmer was lowered to the beach and assisted the men, who were airlifted to the Molokai airport.
The men informed the swimmer that a wave swamped and overturned their vessel at about 1 a.m. Wednesday.
The men will coordinate the salvage of their vessel, the Coast Guard said.
About 50 gallons of gasoline was left onboard, but there was no sign of pollution, the Coast Guard said.
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