Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pop Eldredge

Babe Ruth once said, “Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.” It’s a sentiment shared by the Eldredge ohana, in many ways “the first family of Hawaii baseball,” who have been pitching and batting for some three-quarters of a century. More than 10,000 young baseball players have been touched by an Eldredge during this time period.

Taking the name Eldredge comes with deeply rooted responsibilities and commitment. Baseball fever runs through their veins, and the family has learned that you can expect the high or curve balls in life, and no matter what happens, you must keep on swinging until you hit a home run. It all began with the late David Pinkham Kaiana Eldredge II aka “Pop,” who started the passion back in Lahaina in the 1920s.

“Grandpa was a young kid who enjoyed playing baseball with the older generation. As an adult, he began what was known today as the Manoa Little League,” says Duane P. K. Eldredge of Pop, who was the sole coach for all the teams in Manoa during the ’50s, and was known to have put in blood, sweat and tears to build the Manoa Valley District Park all by himself. The elder Eldredge also was affectionately called the “Mayor of Manoa.”

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