Shane Victorino is not the first Maui boy to make good, but he certainly is the first to do it on national television with millions looking on.
Back in the late '90s Shane dominated the local high prep sports scene with his unmatched exploits in football, baseball, soccer and track at St. Anthony. He was an all-star selection in all four sports, a multiple state champion in track, and somehow still found the time to do all it takes to become an Eagle Scout.
After his graduation in 1999, however, all the attention he'd been used to quickly faded. Shane chose to sign a professional baseball contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and soon found himself slogging through the minor leagues with stops in places with names such as Yakima, Great Falls, Wilmington, Jacksonville, Peoria, and even Zulia, way down in Venezuela.
In 2003 he got his first taste of the major leagues when the San Diego Padres used a little-known baseball rule to claim him from the Dodgers. But without giving him much of a chance, the Padres decided to ship him back to the Dodgers, who kept him in the minors until the Philadelphia Phillies used that same rule to pick him up in 2004.
The Phillies liked what they saw. If fact, they liked it so much that they let two of their bigger stars - Bobby Abreu and Aaron Rowand - go to other teams to make room in the outfield for Shane. On opening day of 2007, he was a starter, and he's been there ever since.
On Monday night in Los Angeles against those same Dodgers, Shane slugged a two-run homer in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series to tie a game that the Phillies would go on to win. On Wednesday night in the ultimate show of respect, Shane was walked intentionally twice as the Phillies wrapped up the National League pennant with a 5-1 victory.
In the postseason, he's collected 11 runs batted in, the most in the majors and a franchise record for a team that's been around for more than 100 years. And he's not done yet.
Next Wednesday, he'll become the first Maui boy to ever play in the World Series, one of sports' greatest stages.
Congratulations, Shane. Not just for this year, but for all the years of hard work it took to get there.
The world will be watching next week. It's just that here on Maui, we'll all be watching with a bit more pride than most.