Hall of Fame: Alfred Ainoa Espinda, Jr. (1954)

“Eki” is considered one of the finest all-around athletes to attend Punahou in the early fifties – earning eight letters in football, basketball and baseball during his high school career. Although he captained the basketball team, Eki was better known for his football and baseball prowess.This article appears as originally published in the Summer 1981 issue of the Punahou Bulletin.  

A member of the 1953 championship football team, Eki made both the Advertiser ad Star-Bulletin All-Star teams. The top receiver in the ILH, he caught 15 passes for 295 yards and seven touchdowns. The highlight of his year was the winning touchdown in the 22 – 20 win over St. Louis for the championship. While the largest crowd in Honolulu Stadium history (28,260) watched, Eki pulled in the winning 51 yard touchdown pass and collapsed in the end zone with cramps in both legs. He was a unanimous choice to play in the 1952 Aloha Bowl as a member of the Keiki Alii team.

His baseball career was highlighted by his league leading batting average, as a junior, of .419. As a senior he batted .529 but due to an injury which limited the number of games in which he was able to play, he did not qualify for the batting title. He was selected, however, as a member of the first ILH All-Star team to be sent to Japan.

Eki continued his starring ways in both football and baseball at Purdue University and, upon returning to Honolulu, played for the Hawaii Braves in the Hawaii Major Baseball League. A catcher, he was the league’s top hitter in 1960. At present he is the head football coach at Farrington High School, a position he has held since 1966.

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