In the 49-year history of the San Diego Padres no player has ever recorded 100 strikeouts with the SD on their cap quicker than Kauai’s own Kirby Yates.
Earlier this season he reached the century mark in just 67-innings, which was just over a full calendar year with the club.
The 31-year-old is now in his fifth Major League season with his fourth club and is a pro baseball inspiration.
Undrafted in 2009, Yates signed as a free agent with the Rays en route to becoming a multiple time minor league all-star. Eventually he made his MLB debut with Tampa Bay in 2014.
After stints with the Rays, Yankees, and Angels he signed with San Diego on April 26, 2017 and the rest is history.
Yates is now a fan favorite in southern California and the primary setup man for the ‘Pad Squad’ where he is a legitimate all-star candidate sporting a 0.96 ERA with 12 holds and 33 strikeouts in 28 innings.
However, if you ask Yates, those numbers take a backseat to his proudest accomplishment, being a father to his daughter Oaklee.
“It’s my first Father’s Day and it’s been an absolute blessing. Oaklee is amazing, I’m getting ready to have my second one here in about three weeks and I think the biggest thing is it makes me appreciate my Dad so much. I learned a lot from him and honestly I just hope I can be the same Dad that he was to me,” Yates told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.
Yates’ father Gary still resides on Lihue, Kauai and is enjoying watching his second son reach the pinnacle of professional baseball.
Kirby’s older brother Tyler was also a relief pitcher at the MLB level for the Mets, Braves, and Pirates between 2004-2009.
“My father was always the coach growing up. He was always Tyler and Spencer’s coach and I know he’s proud to be able to do it with Tyler and now I’m coming along and having some success to be in the big leagues” added Kirby. “I think it’s incredible. I think it’s really neat for him and I know he’s ecstatic. Tyler would tell you that he’s a huge reason why he made it and I’ll tell you that he’s a huge reason why I made it. He never let me give up, he never let me give in and think that I wasn’t good enough. He always pushed me, always told me that every time I step on a field, you’re as good as anybody else and he still makes me believe it to this day”
Kirby and Tyler Yates join Kailua’s Bronson and Dane Sardinha as Hawaii’s only Major League siblings, but a third set could join the club this year with Kolten Wong’s little brother Kean having an all-star season in Triple-A with the Rays.