The 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game marks as the 10-year anniversary of Maui’s own Shane Victorino making the first of two career mid-summer classic appearances in his career.
Victorino’s 2009 season was a memorable one, a campaign that saw him win his second of four Gold Glove Awards and finished 18th in the NL MVP race having hit .293 with 14 home runs 102 runs scored.
Last summer, Victorino who last played at the MLB level in the spring of 2016, officially announced his retirement ahead of being honored by the Philadelphia Phillies.
At the age of 38, Victorino currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada but makes frequent stops in Hawaii, with many of those visits coming as part of events put on by his Victorino Foundation.
Recently, he sat down with KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello to talk about his current role in Hawaii athletics. The Saint Anthony graduate explained that he takes great pride in serving as what he described as a ‘guiding light’ to the current crop of pro athletes from the islands.
“Our roots are our roots, our connections are our connections that are so deeply rooted in us and that’s what it’s all about, being there for one another and guiding them,” said Victorino. “I go back to the last time that we had dinner with Max Holloway, Marcus Mariota, Yancy Medeiros, and Kamu Grugier-Hill, and you sit around the table and you ask, have you ever done this, and they go, no, and I’m saying to myself, like, brah, this is your guys’ era. This is your guys’ reign, this is the time. You got to mingle amongst each other, because you know what, it’s just another outlet for someone to be able to connect to.”
Even dating back to his playing days, Victorino makes it a point to reach out to fellow local athletes that he sees on various stages to send a congratulatory message and offer a helping hand through. Recently while on vacation in Mexico, he saw Saint Louis graduate Jordan Yamamoto’s succesful debut and shared words of encouragement with him.
“That’s what is important to me now, and that’s why I do what I do and be able to reach out to these guys and having that connection. Having someone like you who has accessibility to reach out to and go hey, do you have this person’s number? You covered them, can I reach out and just wish them congratulations or as I said, it’s all about connecting the dots in life. I think that’s the part for me now. Being that opportunity to hopefully have been a role model to that person, to be able to continue to be a role model and again, be an outlet,” said Victorino.