So I’m just now getting to the big news that the Hawaii Winter Baseball League is back. I was always very much in love with the idea of the HWB, small ballparks in little Hawaiian towns featuring exciting, international talent. Is there anything better than baseball in paradise?
Well, the new HWB isn’t quite the same. There are four teams based on Oahu playing in two ballparks. The Waikiki BeachBoys and the Honolulu Sharks will play their home games at the cavernous Les Murakami Stadium at the University of Hawaii while the West Oahu CaneFires (great name!) and the North Shore Honu (above) play at little tiny, decrepit Hans L’Orange Field.
It will be interesting to see how the locals react to having two teams based out of the same ballpark. How would you choose who to support? The HWB before was localized with teams in Maui, Kauai, Hilo and Honolulu, each team had it’s own community to draw from. Obviously, the HWB is not shooting for local fan pride like it may have dreamed of before, but I hope that they can sustain some success and eventually expand. I would love to see a league of four to six teams in Hawaii fighting for their area’s pride each winter. It has (or once had) the potential for greatness.
My favorite logo in the HWB is the North Shore Honu (although the CaneFires is cool too). A little constructive criticism from my wife though. The last thing she thinks of when she thinks of a turtle is a scowl. She says get rid of the scowling turtle and she would love it. I’m with her there. I just hope the team uses the turtle that they use as the “O” in Honu on their caps. I will be all over that.
And throw us a bone here. Bring back the Maui Stingrays, if only so I can finally get a cap. I always wanted a Stingrays cap, and you seemed to be able to buy one anywhere, but I never purchased one. I’ve been bummed about it for years.