Retired Victorino among top Hawaiians in bigs

July 3rd, 2018

Shane Victorino, the Flyin' Hawaiian, officially announced his retirement from baseball on Tuesday.

"Mahalo BASEBALL," Victorino wrote on Twitter. "I hope I made you all PROUD."

With that in mind, revisited some of the most notable players who were born in the Aloha State (* -- active players):

• Cut4: Top players to come from Hawaii

Shane Victorino, OF, 12 seasons: 29.6 WAR

The 37-year-old former outfielder last played in the Majors in 2015 for the Angels, and was best known for his eight seasons with the Phillies, during which he was a two-time All-Star and helped the club to back-to-back National League pennant wins in 2008-09, including a World Series title. Victorino also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013, and played parts of a season each for the Padres and Dodgers, who drafted him in the sixth round in 1999. He was in the Cubs organization for part of the '16 season.

Victorino's 12-year career included a .275/.340/.425 slash line with 108 homers, 489 RBIs and 731 runs scored. He was one of the most notable success stories in the Rule 5 Draft as a two-time selection.

Sid Fernandez, LHP, 15 seasons: 28.9 WAR

Like Victorino, Fernandez was among the most notable on this list who was born and raised in Hawaii, as a fourth-generation native, according to Sporting News. A 114-game winner and two-time All-Star, Fernandez was perhaps best known for his performance during the 1986 World Series for the Mets, when he made three relief appearances, including a masterful outing in the defining Game 7, when he retired seven straight to preserve a lead as the Mets marched to their series comeback.

Over 1,866 2/3 innings across 307 outings with the Mets, Dodgers, Phillies, Orioles and Astros, Fernandez compiled a 3.36 ERA, 1.144 WHIP and 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

Charlie Hough, RHP, 25 seasons: 24.4 WAR

Hough is one of just 10 players to play 25 seasons in the Majors, and his 858 career pitching games rank third-most all time behind only Jim Kaat (898) and Phil Niekro (858), and ahead of the all-time iron man, Nolan Ryan (807). Hough's 216 career pitching wins pace all Hawaiian-born players, though he grew up in the Miami suburbs. 

Hough was taken in the eighth round of the 1966 Draft by the Dodgers, eventually making his MLB debut in 1970, when he learned to throw the knuckleball that propelled his career. After spending parts of 11 seasons each with the Dodgers and Rangers, Hough played two years for the White Sox before finishing his career back home with the Marlins, for whom he was the first starting pitcher in franchise history on Opening Day in 1993.

Ron Darling, RHP, 13 seasons: 22.6 WAR

Darling is still well-recognized today as a television analyst, but his most prominent moments came during his nine seasons with the Mets, which included the 1986 World Series win. In that memorable thriller against the Red Sox, Darling posted a 1.53 ERA over 17 2/3 innings across three starts, including the pivotal Game 7.

Born in Honolulu to a mother of Chinese-Hawaiian descent and French-Canadian father, Darling spent most of his upbringing in Massachusetts. He enjoyed a successful academic and playing career at Yale University that led to him being taken with the ninth overall pick by the Rangers in the 1981 Draft. Over 13 big league seasons, which also included five years with the A's and part of the '91 campaign with the Expos, Darling compiled a 136-116 record and 3.87 ERA over 2,360 1/3 innings.

Milt Wilcox, RHP, 16 seasons: 20.9 WAR

Honolulu-born but Oklahoma-raised, Wilcox was the No. 3 starter for the memorable 1984 Tigers pitching staff that helped propel them to the club's fourth, and most recent, World Series title. Considered an embodiment of toughness, Wilcox played through significant pain relating to a shoulder injury that eventually ended his career after just parts of two more seasons. Over his 16-year career, Wilcox was 119-113 with a 4.07 ERA in 2,016 2/3 innings, including a 97-75 mark and 3.91 ERA during his nine peak seasons in Detroit.

Kurt Suzuki*, C, 12 seasons*: 18.6 WAR

Suzuki is the only player on this list that could be an All-Star this season -- the Braves backstop ranked third among NL catchers in the latest ballot update released this week. Born and raised in Maui, Suzuki went on to play college ball at Cal State Fullerton, where he won the 2004 College World Series and became a second round pick by the A's that summer.

Scott Feldman*, RHP, 13 seasons: 12.0 WAR

Currently a free agent, Feldman -- who was born in Kailua, Hawaii, but raised in Northern California -- rose through the Minor League ranks as an elite relief prospect before eventually becoming a converted starter. Thirteen years later, Feldman has made three career Opening Day starts, including one as recent as 2017 with the Reds.

Feldman has spent most of his career with the Rangers (eight seasons), but also played for the Astros, Orioles and Cubs, whose fans may remember Feldman as the centerpiece of the trade that sent to Chicago.

Kolten Wong*, 2B, six seasons, 8.3 WAR

A product of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Wong became a first-round Draft pick by the Cardinals in 2011 and broke into the Majors with St. Louis two years later. Wong is the son of former University of Southern California standout Kaha Wong, who remains a focal coaching fixture in amateur baseball in Hawaii, overseeing a handful of eventual Draft prospects, such as his son.

Mike Lum, LHP, 15 seasons: 6.6 WAR

Lum's impact on the game was monumental: when he broke into the Majors in 1967, he became the first big leaguer of Japanese ancestry. Born in Honolulu as the son of a Japanese mother and American soldier, Lum grew up in the Little League ranks at an early age in Hawaii and later enjoyed a successful career at Roosevelt High School, which led to him signing with the Braves. He even pinch hit for Hank Aaron once.

Lum played 15 seasons in the Majors, with the Braves, Reds and Cubs, compiling a .247/.319/.370 slash line over 3,999 plate appearances across 1,517 games.

, RHP, 11 seasons: 4.4 WAR

Williams paid homage to his homeland by wearing puka shells around his neck that were a gift from his mother, who presented them to Williams before she passed away from breast cancer in 2001. Williams said his mother, Deborah, was his closest friend.

Over an 11-year career, Williams compiled a 4.59 ERA over 1,029 2/3 innings in 236 games, including 149 starts. He pitched for the Giants in the 2003 postseason.

Lenn Sakata, 2B, 11 seasons: 3.3 WAR

Sakata is a Honolulu native and fourth-generation American born to a soldier of the well-known "Go For Broke" unit in World War II, according to SABR. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound infielder was well known for his moon-like specs and for being the last Orioles shortstop before Cal Ripken Jr. took over the post in 1982.

Sakata was drafted by the Padres in '74 after playing three seasons with a Japanese-Hawaiian club while also going to college at Treasure Valley Community College in Oregon and Gonzaga. He went on to play 11 seasons in the Majors, with a career slash line of .230/.286/.330 over 564 games.

Benny Agbayani, OF, five seasons: 2.6 WAR

Agbayani was best known as a fan favorite in New York, where he helped the Mets win the NL pennant in 2000. That season, Agbayani hit .289/.391/.477 with 15 homers and 60 RBIs over 119 games. Agbayani comes from Filipino descent -- his paternal grandparents moved to Hawaii some time in the 1920s or 30s -- and Samoan, Portuguese, Spanish and German blood from his mother's side, according to SABR.

Agbayani's five-year career was filled with many highs and lows. He hit .274/.362/.445 and last played in the Majors in '02 with the Red Sox.