A special moment for island baseball occurred at home plate in San Francisco’s Oracle Park on Wednesday, as assistant coaches Kainoa Correa of the Giants and Keoni DeRenne of the Kansas City Royals exchanged lineup cards prior to Wednesday’s game.
Correa and DeRenne are distant relatives and are just two of the four assistant coaches in MLB. The others are Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen coach Mike Fetters and Texas Rangers co-pitching coach Brendan Sagara.
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“It’s unique but it’s special at the same time because we are distantly blood related. My great grandmother and his grandmother were first cousins so it’s a lot more than just hanai, calabash cousins that we like to reference to, so seeing him in the other dugout, seeing him work, seeing him doing his thing, I couldn’t be prouder for a guy,” DeRenne told KHON2 sports reporter Alan Hoshida in San Francisco. “He’s got a good thing going on in San Francisco as well as Mike in Arizona and Brendan in Texas.”
Added Correa: “It’s so special. It’s one of those small world moments, right? Already you have the layer where it’s two guys from the state of Hawaii coaching against each other in the major leagues and then to be relatives on top of that makes it all a little bit more special.
“Roles are so limited and it’s so difficult to have the circumstances go your way and get these jobs but more than anything else, what we all want is for the maximum opportunities for players and coaches from the state of Hawaii to be exposed to information and to have an opportunity to interview for jobs, be recruited to premier programs and get drafted and play professional baseball.”