Please note: The ʻAipuni snapback will be distributed exclusively by the Punahou School Baseball Program and will not be released to the public.
Story and design by Ryan Auyoung (Punahou Alumnus)
We would like to give a nod to America’s Favorite Pastime, baseball or kinipopo as our ancestors called it. As some of you may know, our little island home played a big role in the modernization of the sport. ʻAipuni was a form of Baseball that was introduced in the mid 1800’s. Players back then used sandbags as bases and bats were made from Kukui and Hau branches from Manoa Valley. Dried-out coconut shells were often used as balls as well as anything else the Keiki could find to play.
In 1849, Alexander Cartwright, often recognized as the “father of modern baseball” moved to Oahu and modernized ʻAipuni to baseball. He is recognized for inventing the rules of modern baseball while living in New York. Cartwright’s sons would go on to attend Punahou School (named Oahu College at the time) where they presumably passed on their knowledge of the sport to fellow classmates. By 1852, he was credited as the architect of Hawaiʻi’s first baseball field, now known as Cartwright Field on Keʻeaumoku and Kinau Street. Being a couple blocks away from campus, Punahou student-athletes would frequent the park before school and during recess to play baseball. By the late 1880’s, baseball would eventually become Punahou’s first organized sport partly due to Daniel Dole, the school’s first principal who was also an avid player.
Cartwright was a friend to the Hawaiian Royal Family, King David Kalakaua and Queen Emma and encouraged the growth of baseball in the islands. He passed away in 1892 and was laid to rest in a granite monument in Oahu Cemetery where many baseball personalities, including Babe Ruth came to visit. Forty six years after his death, he was inducted to the national Hall of Fame. Since then baseball in Hawaiʻi has grown in popularity and has paved the way for local professional ball players such as Sid Fernandez, Kurt Suzuki, Benny Agbayani, Shane Victorino and Kolton Wong.
The ʻAipuni Snapback features a light heather grey entire crown and top brim, all utilizing a neoprene fabric for quick drying capabilities. The “P” is stitched in navy with a yellow outline. This logo was used in the 80’s by the Punahou baseball program which they’ve recently brought back for their current on-field hats. The "P" was designed by the Eldredge Family who play a prominent role in Hawaiʻi baseball, still to this day. Following in the footsteps of Alexander Cartwright, the Eldredge Family has also encouraged the growth of baseball in Hawaiʻi with over 125 years combined of coaching Hawaiʻi’s keiki. The underbrim is our Trilaka pattern in Punahou’s Buff n’ Blue colorway. The palaka pattern has become a staple design for Punahou apparel throughout the years so it was only fitting to include it in this snapback. The white snap enclosure features the Hawaiian flag label with Aloha Served Daily on the reverse side. The New Era logo, back FITTED crest and FITTED crown are all stitched in navy to compliment the navy button. Although the ʻAipuni Snapback will only be available to the Punahou School baseball program, it is a symbol of Hawaiʻi’s role in what the sport has become today.