Professional Baseball Player
Class of 1995
Onan Masaoka’s dream was to play major league baseball. He fulfilled his dream in 1995, becoming a professional baseball player four days after graduating from Waiäkea High. Onan pitched for the Los Angles Dodgers, and finished his career with the Chicago White Sox in 2001. Many people helped him throughout his career, but he gives credit to Stanley Costales, Tommy Correa, and to his family for their support. Onan trained all over Hilo and played in the Area Codes Baseball league in California while he was a junior. He played football and baseball for Waiäkea High School.
He said that he wasn’t the smartest or the dumbest guy in his class, but maintained a passing grade to play sports with a 2.8 GPA. His parents wanted him to do better in school so they would ask for a progress report every Friday.
Playing Major League Baseball is a rare accomplishment and it isn’t all fun and games. He and other rookies had to wear an ugly suit as an initiation ritual at Florida’s stadium until they were back in L.A. To make it as a professional athlete he offers this advice, “Do the things that nobody else wants to do: work hard, focus on the goal, make sacrifices, don’t sell yourself out, don’t be afraid to try new things, don’t take performance enhancement drugs, and follow your heart.” Onan is presently a student at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.