Eric Tokunaga couldn’t forget Chace Numata.
Numata, a minor-league baseball prospect, died in 2019 from injuries suffered from a skateboarding accident. On Saturday, the inaugural Chace Numata Senior All-Star Game will commence, featuring nearly 50 players from various schools. The nine-inning game will begin at 1 p.m. on the diamond at Joey DeSa Field.
Spectators are welcome. Basic protocols will be required, including social distancing.
“I called Chace’s parents the other day, yesterday, it’s a very emotional thing for me. I was involved with his career and when he was in high school, work him out,” Tokunaga said on Friday. “I’m close with the family.”
Numata, a Pearl City standout, and was drafted in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. At the time of the accident, he was a catcher for the Erie SeaWolves, the Detroit Tigers AA farm team in Pennsylvania. Numata’s organs were donated and saved five lives.
Tokunaga, now the coach at Farrington, had organized the Sugar Mill Classic at Hans L’Orange Park for nearly a decade before moving to North Carolina. Numata’s father, Nathan, coached in the first Sugar Mill Classic, Tokunaga recalled.
“I think anything baseball in Hawaii, Chace would be watching the game for sure. Of course, he’s going to enjoy the game. I wanted to do something for him, so this is going to be my thing,” Tokunaga said.