Talk Story is kicking off the second half of the season by taking you on a trip to Hilo to meet Saint Louis Cardinal Kolten Wong and his ohana. The Wong family has built a baseball dynasty in Hawaii that started with father Kaha. Now, as second baseman for the Saint Louis Cardinals, Kolten is proud he and his brother Kean, who plays second base for the San Francisco Giants, are carrying on his father's baseball legacy. Kolten says the game was an integral a part of his childhood, "regardless if I was playing, watching, watching my dad play; we'd be little kids in the outfield playing baseball, football, running around, kolohe kids."
The year is busy for the Hilo native. "We play 162 games a year. That's a lot of baseball. On top of spring training. And, I went to postseason this year," said Wong, so when he and his brother come back to Hawaii they make the most of it. " We have three months every off-season. "I have a two, three week break where I enjoy what Hilo has to offer. I eat all the good food. For that little three week break I throw that diet out the window and just enjoy and get back to the roots."
And getting to his roots means connecting with his young fans at home. "The biggest thing I take pride in is I go into the field, I tell the kid just come with me. I feel kids start to learn better that way because they see me out there with them, they see me working and they try to emulate or copy different things. It's fun. These kids really start to learn. They see, this guy's not Superman. He's from Hilo. I want to show these kids I am not any different than you are. I try to show these kids if you want to achieve your goal you need to put everything towards it. "
Kolten says postseason is just as important as the regular season for him and his brother. "Being the ages that we are now, I'm 29, he (Kean)'s 25, the biggest thing is build strength and fixing the things that you hurt during the season."
About Kolten Wong:
Kolten Wong is a Major League Baseball (MLB) second baseman and outfielder currently playing with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was drafted in 2011 and made his MLB debut with the Cardinals in 2013 . A local boy from Hilo, Wong attended Kamehameha School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He was named the National League Rookie of the Month for May 2014 and is currently signed through 2020 with a team option for 2021. He is the son of Kaha Wong, who played college baseball at the University of Southern California (USC), and spent two years in the minor leagues with the Reno Silver Sox in Class-A. @thewongone808
About Kean Wong:
Kean Wong currently plays second base for the San Francisco Giants. He was drafted in 2013 by the Tampa Bay Rays and made his MLB debut in 2019. He graduated from Waiakea High School in Hilo and played college baseball at the University of Hawaii. @kean_won