Ira's favorite number is "23". Here is a note from his high school baseball team:
"On the baseball field or off, Ira was always the same - whatever happened he never seemed discouraged. He kept moving forward and working to achieve his goals, whatever they were.
Ira was admired by his teammates. On the field he never complained. Whenever the coaches made us run, most players whined, but Ira was consistently the first one to line up at home plate. You could tell the difference between Ira and the rest because Ira was the guy always giving it 110% and going hard every time, working to improve his game and help our team. He gave us confidence, encouragement and the ideal example to follow. We'll miss Ira and we are thankful for the chance to have known such a person.
Number 23 is love and will always be remembered by the Kalaheo Baseball Team as an outstanding ball player and a great friend."
Here is a note from one of Ira's baseball coaches:
"I had the privilege of coaching Ira in baseball during his 11th through 15th years. He was a skilled ballplayer who made the all-star teams as a catcher in each of those five seasons.
The thing I remember most about Ira is that he was disciplined, well behaved, humble and just a joy to coach. Even at that early age you just knew he would be a winner in everything he pursued. I have some distinct memories of Ira. One, is his classic "poke-hit", being a line drive right up the "box". He always seemed to come through when we needed the crucial base hit. Second, was the way he would signal the defensive play to the infielder with his hand to the helmet, chest and belly on a "man on 1st & 3rd base" situation. We were not always successful but we ALWAYS had the confidence that the play would be properly executed. Third, was the game in which Ira was on the receiving end of a violent collision at home plate. Ira's front teeth were knocked loose but he did not shed a tear, complain, or become upset. He was forced to sit out the remeinder of the game but he stayed in the dugout cheering on his teammates. Finally, the distinct and mischievous smile that he always seemed to have on his face. If you did not know any better you would think he was up to something. Like the time they were trying to douse me with water after the last game of the season. I will never forget that smile.
It had been several years since I had seen Ira on a daily basis but whenever we would see him he would always stop and chat. Those moments made all those years of coaching worthwhile. You just knew that he appreciated it. The last time I saw Ira he was working a 7-Eleven during summer vacation. I do not recall specifically what we talked about but I will never, ever forget that smile.
When I first heard that Ira had passed away I felt cheated because I knew we had lost one of Hawaii's finest sons. He would have surely grown up to be an upstanding member of our state and would have given back to the community by coaching the many sports in which he excelled. Then I thought, just as we chose the best players for our all-star team, heaven must have needed an all-star.
Ira, thank you for being a part of my life and the things that you've taught me. I will never forget you." Coach D.