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Hawaii father takes a cross country road trip to watch his son play in the College World Series

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 8:28 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Father’s day weekend, a local dad took a cross country trek to watch his son play on College Baseball’s biggest stage.

Kobe Kato and the Arizona Wildcats are in the midst of their quest for a National title in the College World Serie, but for Kobe’s dad, seeing his son play in Omaha was worth every mile traveled.

Kobe made his College World Series debut in the Wildcats tough 12 inning loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday night.

In attendance was Kobe’s Dad Ryan Kato, this isn’t Ryan’s first time watching his son play ball, but it was the first game he had to drive nearly 1,400 miles to get there.

“I keep joking with Tom, it’s like the nationals lampoos vacation,” Kato said. “I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to do something like this.”

Kato and another Arizona player’s dad decided to drive 21 hours from Tucson, Arizona to Omaha, Nebraska to watch their sons compete on the biggest stage.

Kato soaking in the whole road trip, an experience he says you can’t find on the islands.

“Being from Hawaii you drive 15 minutes in any direction and you’re done, you’ve reached the ocean,” Kato said. “For me being able to go to seven states in one day was an amazing experience.”

Ryan has watched Kobe play countless times at Aiea High School where Kobe played baseball and football for the Na Ali’i, but he will never forget these games and the journey he took to get there — even getting to see the Midwest’s finest wildlife.

“We almost ran over a coyote,” Kato said. “The coyote was in the middle of the highway eating road kill, we were coming down and I just see the whites of the coyotes eyes we missed it by this much.”

After dropping their opener to Vanderbilt, the Wildcats now face Stanford in a must-win game Monday at 7:00 a.m. Hawaii time on ESPNU.

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