Derek Tatsuno Inducted into College Hall of Fame

Published: Jul. 5, 2007 at 3:46 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 5, 2007 at 3:57 PM HST
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Les Murakami
Les Murakami
Ron Nomura
Ron Nomura

By Russel Yamanoha

(KHNL) - Its been almost 30 years since Derek Tatsuno played for the University of Hawaii.  So younger fans might not fully understand what he meant to college baseball.

But Tatsuno, was flat dominant.  In 1979, he put together a season for the ages.  20 wins, the first in college baseball to do that.

And his final home game at Aloha Stadium, was played before a record crowd of 18 thousand.  Two guys who helped Tats to success, his former coach and former catcher.

They say, it takes one to know one.  Former Rainbow coach Les Murakami, is a hall of famer himself.

He says its about time that Derek Tatsuno get his hall call, because when it comes to pitching none did it better than Tats.

"I haven't seen anyone close to a Derek Tatsuno," says Murakami.   "In fact I haven't seen one in all the years that I coached, even from an opposing team I haven't.  That's how good I thought Derek was."

And Tatsuno's got the numbers to prove it.  He's the first 20 game winner in college baseball history.   And his former catcher Ron Nomura, saw Tatsuno work from the best seat in the house.

"He had the mental part of the game and I don't think a lot of people realize how important it is to have that composure," said Nomura.   "That's what made Derek Tatsuno.    Whether he was pitching in the first inning or the 9th inning, he looked the same.   When the first batter would come up, they would see some of the curveballs and the fastballs coming in and they seemed a little tentative and I could see it in their eyes."

Now all eyes are on Tatsuno once again, as he enters the College Hall of Fame.

"I think its a tribute to the state have someone like Derek Tatsuno inducted into the College Hall of Fame, its much deserved, just wonderful and I just feel happy for Derek Tatsuno."