This year, Afognak welcomes celebrity baseball player Shane Victorino – two-time MLB All-Star and World Series Champion.
MLB World Series Champion • Philanthropist • Father/Husband
Born on Maui, Hawaii, Shane Victorino is a two-time World Series Champion, two-time National League All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner. He spent 12 years in the major leagues and is one of only a few Maui natives to play in the majors. Known as the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” for his quickness and athleticism that allows him to play all three outfield positions, Victorino’s career stats include 1274 hits, 489 RBIs, and 231 stolen bases.
At St. Anthony High School, Victorino was a four-sport star (football, soccer, track and baseball) and held the Hawaii state track record in the 100-meter dash for 17 years. Drafted out of high school in the sixth round of the 1999 First Year Player Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, he made his MLB debut with the San Diego Padres in 2003.
In 2005, he joined the Philadelphia Phillies and over his nearly eight seasons with the team, Victorino racked up an impressive list of accomplishments. He played a key role in helping the 2008 Phillies win their first World Series Championship in 28 years and hit his first-ever grand slam (also marking the first grand slam in Phillies’ postseason history) in Game 2 of the NLDS. In 2009, he won the All-Star Game’s “Final Vote” with more than 15 million votes to become the first Hawaiian-born position player to be named to the All-Star team. That same year, the Phillies captured the National League Championship and returned to the World Series for the second consecutive season. During the 2010 season, the 5’9” dynamo earned his third consecutive Gold Glove Award and helped the Phillies reach the NLCS. In 2011, Victorino earned MVP team honors from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) and became the first two-time winner of the All-Star Game’s “Final Vote.” After a trade to the Dodgers at the end of the 2012 season, he signed a three-year contract with the Boston Red Sox that offseason.
In 2013, Victorino was selected for the second time to represent TEAM USA in the World Baseball Classic. His first season with the Red Sox, Victorino was named American League Player of the Week on August 4, 2013. In Game 6 of the ALCS, he hit his second post-season grand slam, propelling the Red Sox into the World Series and becoming one of only two players in baseball history with multiple postseason grand slams. In Game 6 of the World Series, his three-run double broke the scoreless tie to give the Sox the first lead in the game. Boston won that game and the Championship, the first deciding game of a World Series to be won at Fenway since 1918. Victorino also won his fourth Gold Glove Award that year.
Shane, an Eagle Scout, is also very active in philanthropy. He and his wife, Melissa, established the Shane Victorino Foundation (SVF) in 2010 with a mission to provide educational, wellness and recreational opportunities for underserved children. In Hawaii, SVF’s focus is currently on improving youth baseball facilities throughout the State. In 2013, the Foundation opened a batting cage at Waipio Neighborhood Park on Oahu and in 2015, they opened a second cage at Kalama Park on Maui. Over the past eight years, SVF has contributed close to $350,000 for various community projects and causes in Hawaii, including an annual Youth Baseball Clinic on Maui (a free, half-day event for underserved youth).
In Philadelphia, the Foundation’s signature project was a contribution of nearly $1 million to renovate a century-old Boys & Girls Club located in an impoverished area and in dire need of repair. The Club re-opened in September 2011 as the Shane Victorino Nicetown Boys & Girls Club – one of only a handful of Clubs named after an MLB player (others include Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson).
In Las Vegas, where Victorino and family resides, the Foundation conducts an annual toy drive benefiting local nonprofit organizations as well as a holiday party for children affected by poverty, homelessness and other crisis.
In January 2014, the Hawaii State Senate and House of Representatives honored Shane for his efforts both on and off the field. Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie declared January 27, 2014 as “Shane Victorino Foundation Day” and November 21, 2011 as “Shane Victorino Day,” for his leadership and community service throughout the Aloha State. In 2011, Shane also received the prestigious Branch Rickey Award (given annually to an MLB player who exemplifies “service above self”), Humanitarian of the Year Award by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association and was named to the Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Americans. In 2010, Victorino earned the Philly BBWAA’s Tug McGraw “Good Guy Award,” the Phillies’ nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award, received the Phillies’ Community Service Award and was the Union League of Philadelphia’s Sportsman of the Year. He received the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 2008 for best exemplifying the character and integrity of “The Iron Horse.”
Author Alan Maimon chronicled Shane’s life in his book, Shane Victorino: The Flyin’ Hawaiian.
Shane lists his proudest accomplishments as husband to his wife, Melissa and father to their three children, Keenan, Kali’a and Kingston.