With apologies to Dave Righetti, Wendell Kim (that’s him in the middle, by the way) may be the most popular non-head coach/manager in the history of the Bay Area. Born in Honolulu, Kim holds the distinction of being the first Korean-American to wear a major-league uniform. He had a brief stint in the minors as a ballplayer and then coach, but it was in San Francisco that his legacy as a base coach was cemented.
Before every inning, the short little Hawaiian-Korean man sprinted out to the third-base coaching box, a ritual which brought a ray of light to the otherwise completely foggy ‘Stick. Kim became the third-base coach during the 1989 season and held the job for eight
highly mostly successful seasons, quickly garnering a reputation for being aggresive on the basepaths. Kim’s tactics (and antics) made him a fan favorite in the Bay Area, but they didn’t fly so well in subsequent stops in Boston and Chicago, where the fans gave him nicknames like “Wavin’ Wendell” and “Send ‘Em In Kim.”
Since his 2004 campaign with Dusty’s Cubbies, Wendell Kim has been out of baseball, but not out of our hearts.
Wendell Kim [wikipedia]
Official Site [wk20]