Cubs mourn the death of longtime Wrigley Field clubhouse attendant Yosh Kawano
CHICAGO – He’s one of those guys around Cubs baseball that became a legend – a constant part of the team for over half a century who remained during a number of changes with the franchise.
You could thank Harry Caray for that fame. The longtime broadcaster made it a habit of mentioning the Cubs’ longtime clubhouse manager during a number of broadcasts on WGN-TV through the years.
Yosh Kawano retired from that position at Wrigley Field in 2008, but he remained a beloved figure in the Cubs organization from those who knew him well. Hence his death at the age of 97 on Wednesday has brought a number of tributes from those who knew him.
“For nearly 70 years, Yosh Kawano devoted himself to our club and players – calling Wrigley Field home and treating them as family. He served in the U.S. Army then returned to the Friendly Confines, where he would eventually settle in as equipment manager in 1953,” said Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts in a statement release by the team. “In the decades that followed, he enjoyed deep and colorful relationships with players, members of the front office and the media. Everyone knew Yosh by his trademark white floppy fishing hat, which has been on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum since his retirement in 2008.
“Yosh was truly one of a kind and an integral part of our Cubs family and history. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and legions of fans.”
Kowano was with the team for 65 years, starting with the team as a visitors clubhouse attendant in 1943 and eventually switching over the same position with the Cubs. He would then switch back to the visitors clubhouse in 1999 till his retirement.
Here’s how the team paid tribute to Kawano on Twitter.
Cubs Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins shared his memories of Kawano on Twitter as well.