Hundreds celebrate Hawaii sports icon

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds gathered Saturday to honor the life of a legendary Hawaii athlete. Wally Yonamine passed away Monday after long battling Prostate Cancer.

The services were held at Nuuanu Memorial Park Saturday morning to celebrate the life of the multi-talented athlete.

A native of Maui, Yonamine became the first Asian-American to play professional football for the San Francisco 49ers in 1947.

Following an injury, Yonamine left football and made another historic first; he joined the Yomiuri Giants (the modern day Tokyo Giants) to become the first American to play for the Japanese Major Leagues following WWII.

Yonamine contributed to baseball in Hawaii through establishing the Hawaii State High School Tournament and was elected to the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.

He was 85 and is survived by his wife, son and two daughters.

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