For the first time in his professional baseball career, which spans almost 30 years of MLB experience as both a pitcher and coach, ‘Iolani alumnus Mike Fetters will take part in the World Series.
Fetters is the bullpen coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who won the National League pennant and will face the Texas Rangers in the 2023 Fall Classic.
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Under Fetters’ watch, the Diamondbacks have been aided in large part by their bullpen, a unit that has put up a 2.94 in 12 postseason games, including nine straight scoreless innings. The Diamondbacks are in the World Series for the first time as a franchise since 2001 despite winning just 84 games during the 2003 regular season.
“When you grow up as a kid, you dream and you play and pretend like it’s the ninth inning of the World Series, you strike somebody out and and then once you get there, all you want to do is get to the World Series. It’s been a long, long, long journey for me,” Fetters told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “I’m still numb. It’s still emotional. It’s still just crazy. It’s just a whirlwind right now. To go this long, that’s all you play for. I have faith in our guys, and our guys are really prepared for this and they’re pumped and we’ll see what happens in these last seven games.”
“It means a lot. I’m hoping that I’m representing the Polynesian race and the Samoan race with with pride and let them know that that you can do anything you want, no matter what sport it is you put your heart to and you work really, really hard. I know Hawaii is a sports-crazed place. People get behind the local guys and whoever is doing well. It’d be a lot better if I were playing. I mean, I got to sit back, you got to watch the games like everyone else. But to be a part of it, to help these guys, getting prepared for the games and see if we can win a World Series championship. And that’s what this is all about.”
Fetters is the only member of either team with Hawaii ties in the World Series. University of Hawaii alumnus Josh Rojas was with the Diamondbacks before getting traded to the Seattle Mariners in July. Leilehua alumnus and former UH-Hilo pitcher Brendan Sagara was the pitching coach for the Texas Rangers through the 2022 season, while Mid-Pacific alumnus Isiah Kiner-Falefa was with the Rangers organization from 2013 to 2021.