Hilo Resident Onan Masaoka Returns to Baseball

Onan Masaoka is a man at peace…


…At peace with his decision to walk away from baseball at the tender age of 24, after already having spent the better part of two seasons in the major leagues with the Dodgers.

At peace with his decision to return to the sport almost eight years after pitching in a game that counted in the standings, with the RailCats.

Masaoka, from Hilo, Hawaii, exudes that relaxed, laid-back, almost spiritual attitude often associated with the 50th state. But with him, it seems to extend even beyond that vibe…


…”There’s no doubt everything has lined up the way it’s supposed to be,” Masaoka, a 31-year-old left-hander, said on Friday as the RailCats opened spring training at the Steel Yard.

Everything appeared to lining up for Masaoka at a young age…

…Today, Masaoka and wife Christy will celebrate their second wedding anniversary. They have a 7-month-old daughter. After Christy, a teacher, finishes school in early June, they are planning to join him in the region.

Other family members are excited about his return to baseball, but also somewhat leery given his young daughter and the fact that the couple is in the middle of having a house built in Hilo.

“There’s a lot of things that contradict doing it at this point,” Masaoka said. “But there’s a lot of things that I see, and my wife saw it, the timing couldn’t be better.

“I’m committed to getting back into baseball. I do everything 100 percent, and that’s what I’m doing here. My wife has supported me a lot, and I really appreciate what she has done…”

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