Friday, November 21, 2014

Bob Apisa: full circle

Apisa was such a terrific athlete in the early ’60s in Honolulu that he was the ILH Back of the Year in football as a bruising fullback for the Governors, a starting forward in basketball, an all-star out-fielder on Farrington’s championship baseball team, and a record holder in track and field.

One seemingly can-it-really-be-true tale exemplifies his outstanding athletic talents.

“I had been a shot-putter in my early days (at Farrington), but gave it up to play baseball, which was my favorite sport,” he recalls. “One day, we had a doubleheader in Moiliili, and the track coach got in touch with our baseball coach and asked if I could drop by the Punahou Relays in between games, so our team could at least score a point in the shot put. Anyway, I went to the track, and took off my baseball jersey and borrowed a track tank top. Here I was, putting the shot in my baseball pants and leggings, and the other athletes are standing by and chuckling at the sight. I had to remember how to do it, and I let out a big high-arching throw, and I heard a collective gasp from the crowd, ‘Wow!’ For some reason, it all came together, and I broke the state record with a throw of 56 feet, 3 and 3/4 inches.” Then it was back to the second baseball game of the day.

[12/22/14] Things were different 48 years ago.

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