Farrington baseball legend John Matias dies

Farrington’s John Matias died Tuesday after a long illness.

Here is Dave Reardon’s story for the Star-Advertiser.

Matias, a former Hawaii Islanders standout who rose to the Major Leagues, was a longtime coach for Damien and Pearl City after his playing days. But it was those playing days that he was most known for in the islands.

Matias hit four home runs for Farrington against Waimea in the 1962 state baseball tournament, widely regarded as one of the greatest performances in Hawaii high school history. He drove in nine runs that day.

Farrington fell to Leilehua in the state championship that year, but Matias and the Governors earned their state championship the next year when Gordon Shimizu shut out Baldwin. Of course, Matias had three hits in the clinching game, one of them a bases-loaded triple.

Matias was named first-team all-state after the 1962 season, ahead of fellow future major leaguer Mike Lum of Roosevelt and repeated in 1962, this time over Punahou legend Charley Wedemeyer. Matias was also All-ILH second team in basketball two years in a row as well as playing football.


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