Good Book, Sports Travel, Big Kicks

It’s always great hearing about longtime friends who have exciting news in their lives. Most recently, I’ve heard great things from good friends Don Chapman, Wayne Coito and Tom Culver. I’ve known them for a long time and we used to always catch up at big games. Back in the day, we would even compete against each other to see who could win the most money betting on the games and I have no doubt they have taken advantage of the unibet welcome offer and still bet online to this day! They’re nice guys so it’s always pleasant catching up.

Don, of course, is the editor of MidWeek, and I was thrilled when he sent me a copy of his newest book, The Ball That Changed The World. It’s the story of legendary Hawaii resident Alexander Joy Cartwright, the true father of modern baseball.

It took me a few weeks to finally get some time to read Don’s book, but it turned out to be a gem. Written especially for school students, it’s a wonderful saga of Cartwright’s interest in putting rules together for the new sport of baseball – a variety of bat-ball-base games were popular at the time (1845), as well as Cart-wright’s more-than-amazing journey across the American continent during the 1849 Gold Rush.

Once I got started reading, I couldn’t put it down, and found myself entranced with the struggles of Cartwright, the pioneer. I won’t spoil anything for you, but will tell you that two Cartwright’s mules were called Babe and Duke. Don, ever the baseball fan, couldn’t resist getting his favorite high school baseball saying into the narrative – “Hum Babe!”

It’s available at, and I strongly recommend it to readers of all ages!

Wayne Coito has been working with me as the producer and co-host of PacWest Magazine television show the past several years. This summer, he’s also becoming a sports tour travel coordinator.

Wayne’s new venture is called Hawaii Sports Fans, and his first tour takes local fans from Hawaii to major league ballparks in San Diego, Anaheim and Los Angeles at the end of August, and ends up at the L.A. Coliseum for the Hawaii-USC football game Sept. 1. It’s four straight days of jam-packed sports action (Padres/Braves, Angels/Red Sox, Dodgers/D’Backs), at some of Southern California’s most storied venues. And who doesn’t want to be in the stands for kickoff of the 2012 college football season with the Warriors up against the Trojans?!

“I’ve been getting huge response from sports fans, travelers and companies, who all agree that this type of travel is missing and would love to be a part of it in some way,” Wayne says. You can read all about all of his upcoming sports tours at, or by calling him at (808) 391-4723.

Finally, I got a call from good friend Madison Spotts in Kailua telling me the great news about her nephew Tom Culver, who has just signed a two-year contract to play professional soccer in Europe.

Tom, a former ILH soccer star and 2005 Maryknoll graduate, will play for the Apolonia Fier in Albania, one of the oldest “football clubs” and oldest cities in Europe. “He never gave up on his dream,” says Tom’s dad (and Madison’s brother) Greg Culver. “He’ll be playing at the highest level (of professional soccer) there.”

Young Tom, now 25 years old, is in a battle for the starting spot at center-midfielder, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots. “He says the people are so friendly there, just like Hawaii,” Culver says.

I hope you’ll join me and extend the heartiest of congratulations to great friends Tom, Wayne and Don, and wish them the best of luck in their exciting new ventures.