Brothers Kale, Chadwick Kaalekahi: Bonus round

by Jerry Campany on April 7, 2010

Chadwick brothers Charles and Chadwick Kaalekahi form an imposing battery for Campbell. Photo by FL Morris.

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More on Campbell pitching ace Charles “Kale” Kaalekahi, who was featured a week ago.

• Kale’s grandfather, Kale “Papa” Kaalekahi, was a multi-sport athlete at Punahou. He was in track, swimming, basketball and volleyball. Kale’s dad, Charles, was a football player at Roosevelt and Campbell.

• Favorite class: Trigonometry, taught by Ms. Yoshizumi. Kale also enjoys Marine Science with teacher Suzie Wallace.

• Grade-point average: 3.2 cumulative.

• Favorite athlete: Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants.

“His curve ball is pretty nasty. He throws pretty hard for a pretty small guy,” Kale said.

• Favorite pre-game music: Tunes by Babyface and Brian McKnight.

• Favorite food: King crab legs and lobster.

• Pre-game snack: Li hing gummy worms from 7-Eleven, Spam musubi deluxe and a quart of passion-orange juice.

• Favorite movies: Pineapple Express and Good Luck Chuck. The latter features Jessica Alba.

“The story line is how he tries to get the girl,” Kale said.

He’s watched Pineapple Express at least eight times.

“That movie can make anybody laugh.”

• No. 1 on Kale’s iPod: Paranormal Activity.

• Best pitching advice: “The 1, 2, 3 and 4 batters, those are the guys I want to get out. Five through nine, they don’t belong there,” he said.

• Life after baseball: Kale laughs at this prospect since it’s probably decades away.

“Maybe I’ll be coaching like Coach Rory (Pico). I probably would give back to the school and coach there,” he said.

• Favorite beaches: Waimea Bay and Barber’s Point (Kalaeloa).

“I stay away from Hau Bush. Over there’s pretty scary,” he said.

• Mom & Dad: Lori is a Leilehua graduate. Her family moved to Ewa and she was working at the Chevron station when she met Charles.

• Sisters Brittany (older) and Channon (younger) round out the Kaalakahi ohana. Channon is into hula and Tahitian dancing.

• Who makes the call? Brother Chadwick, a junior, takes the lead on the diamond.

“He follows what  I do,” the catcher said. “Our freshman or sophomore year, we finally got that connection. He knows what he wants to throw. I just know what he wants to throw, too.”

They spend time doing homework on opposing batters, studying hitting charts.

• Chadwick is a catcher by personality as much as skill.

“I always wanted to play catcher. It’s a rugged position. It’s pretty nuts,” he said.

• Chadwick’s favorite athlete: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals catcher.

“He’s got a rifle. He can throw the ball, gun it from his knees,” Chadwick said. “At practice, I try it, but (coaches) say, ‘Don’t do that. Throw the right way.’ ”

• Kale’s wicked slider: “We use the fastball a lot,” Chadwick said. “We start out with that, use his slider once in awhile. Once in a while, he’ll throw a splitter. It’s one of the nastiest pitches he’s got.”

It was assistant coach Arthur Davis (Waianae High School, retired minor league pitcher), who sharpened Kale’s slider.

“From the first day, he had mean control of it right away,” Chadwick recalled. “Two days later, we played Leilehua in the first regular-season game. We called it one or two times on each batter.”

• Cleated: Playing shortstop, Kale had to get seven stiches on a shin after being cleated on a steal at second base by a friend who plays for Kapolei.

“My throw was a little bit off. At Kapolei, the mound is super high. Our pitcher didn’t move and I had to throw it to the side,” Chadwick explained. “They collided (on the runner’s side of second base).”

As a pitcher, Chadwick is a valuable piece in Campbell’s rotation.

“I pitch differently (from Kale). I’m more aggressive. Kale usually sets people up.”

His natural position, though, is behind the plate.

“Since his freshman year, I’ve seen how much of a student of the game he is,” Pico said of Chadwick.

Paul Honda, Star-Bulletin

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