Kaupe family bids Brooklyn “Aloha” from Hawaii

September 1, 2015 Jim Dolan
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“I wish we had a park like this in Hawaii,” said Napa Kaupe admiring MCU Park in Coney Island where his son Branden is one the infielders this season for the Brooklyn Cyclones. “If they had a park like this I’d be there every night. The fans are so friendly here it feels like family,” said Kaupe who works for the Department of Transportation Airport Division in Maui.

In addition to his wish for a “MCU-like ballpark,” Kaupe is also hoping that his son joins the list of successful major leaguers of Hawaiian descent that have played for the New York Mets, which includes Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez, Benny Agbeyani and as recently as of this July, Michael Conforto.

Kaupe, a 21-year-old infielder from Wailuku, Hawaii, was drafted by the Mets in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB draft out of high school. After his first season with the Gulf Coast Mets and then two seasons in Kingsport, Tennessee, for Branden to finally play in Brooklyn is like making to the major leagues getting to play in front large crowds each night according to his father.

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In addition to excelling at baseball, Kaupe used his compact 175 pound 5’7” frame to play running back as a Pop Warner All Star for his Baldwin High School football team.

For the Kaupes, sports have always been a family affair as Napa coached his older son’s baseball team, while Joy began to throw and catch with Branden at the age of three. “You couldn’t tear him away from the TV,” said Kaupe. “At the age of three he was watching baseball on ESPN with the wish to play some day. Now, three years after his drafting, we’re getting our wish to see him play.”

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