The BASEBALL RELIQUARY Inc.
APRIL 3 ~ MAY 26, 2000
RECEPTION: FRIDAY, APRIL 7, 7-9 PM
Alhambra High School Library
101 S. Second Street
The Baseball Reliquary will present "Baseballogy 101: An Exhibition of Baseball Art & Artifacts" at the Alhambra High School Library, 101 S. Second Street, Alhambra, California, from April 3 through May 26, 2000. Coordinated by Alhambra High School Librarian Cathy Doran, AHS teacher Mary Cannon, and the Reliquary staff, "Baseballogy 101" will feature many artifacts from the permanent collections of the Baseball Reliquary, some of which will be exhibited publicly for the first time.
The exhibition will include:
The Babe Ruth Memorial, featuring the sacristy box used by a priest from St. Patrick’s Cathedral to administer last sacraments of the Catholic Church to a gravely ill Babe Ruth in 1948; a cigar partially smoked and a hot dog partially eaten by the Bambino; and a figural trophy presented to Ruth in 1927 by Brother Matthias and the boys at St. Mary’s Industrial School in Baltimore, where the Babe learned the game.
The Josh Gibson Relic Box, containing a collection of ephemera relating to the career of the legendary Negro Leagues slugger, including photographs and a relic card with a fragment from Gibson’s catcher’s mitt.
The Elysian Fields Soil. The first public exhibition of what is now widely considered one of the world’s most sacrosanct baseball relics, a mid-19th century soil sample from Hoboken, New Jersey’s Elysian Fields, the birthplace of modern baseball.
A collection of artifacts from the House of David, a Michigan-based religious sect whose barnstorming baseball teams were known throughout the highways and byways of America from World War I through the mid-1950s. The House of David players wore long hair and beards and delighted crowds with their zany antics and entertaining style of play. On exhibit will be the silver-plated championship cup awarded to the club for winning the 1934 "Little World Series of the West" and a lock of hair from the head of Tom Dewhirst, who was dubbed "The Bearded Babe Ruth."
The Eddie Grant Memorial plaque, originally anchored to a stone monument at New York’s Polo Grounds and dedicated to the first major league ballplayer killed in action in World War I. The plaque, whose whereabouts remained shrouded in mystery for over 40 years, was recently discovered in the attic of a Ho Ho Kus, New Jersey home formerly owned by a New York City police officer.
"The Art of the Game" as celebrated through paintings by Ben Sakoguchi and Michael Guccione, and the first public exhibition of a baseball-themed photo collage by the renowned American artist Joseph Cornell. Entitled "U.S. Man in Space," the whimsical Cornell collage, circa 1962, may possibly have been inspired by the zany play of the expansion New York Metropolitans. Also on view will be Charlie Finley’s monochromatic contribution to baseball lore, the "Alert Orange Baseball," and an example of what can happen when a neurotic border collie takes possession of a valuable baseball.
A collection of historic baseball images from the Keystone-Mast stereographic archive at the California Museum of Photography on the campus of the University of California, Riverside.
"Baseball Sociopaths," featuring the tooth knocked from the mouth of catcher Ray Fosse by Pete Rose in a violent homeplate collision at the 1970 All-Star Game, and the Ty Cobb Humanitarian Award, presented to "The Georgia Peach" in 1950 for his philanthropic efforts. The award is counterpointed by a handwritten letter from former pitcher Carl Mays, who discusses the scar on his leg inflicted by Ty Cobb, whom he refers to as "the most vicious player I ever encountered in my twenty years of professional baseball."
"Baseball Mavericks," featuring several items related to Bill Veeck Jr.’s legendary baseball promotions: a burned disco record recovered from the scene of the infamous "Disco Demolition Night" at Chicago’s Comiskey Park on July 12, 1979; the athletic supporter worn by 3’7" midget Eddie Gaedel on August 19, 1951, the day he stepped into baseball immortality by pinch-hitting for Veeck’s St. Louis Browns in a game at Sportsman’s Park; and a miniature figural trophy presented to Gaedel by the Falstaff Brewery, the radio sponsor of the St. Louis Browns. Not to be missed is the first public exhibition of the hair curlers worn by controversial pitcher Dock Ellis, which were used to enhance his "Superfly" hairstyle of the early 1970s. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, believing that it was undignified for a Major League ballplayer to be seen wearing curlers, sent the Pittsburgh Pirates hurler an order to cease and desist wearing curlers on the field of play.
A reception, open to the public, will be held Friday, April 7, 2000 from 7-9 PM. Regular library hours during the exhibition will be Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Please note that the library will be closed the week of April 17-21 for spring break.
There will be three evening programs presented at the library as part of the "Baseballogy 101" exhibition. These programs, which are open to the public and free of charge, are as follows:
Saturday, April 29, 7-9 PM
Dusting Off the Plate: An Introduction to the Baseball Reliquary
Baseball Reliquary Executive Director Terry Cannon provides an inside look at the "Baseballogy 101" exhibition and discusses the educational objectives of this nonprofit organization. A selection of vintage baseball videos will be presented, as well as excerpts from the 1999 Induction Day ceremony of the Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals, in which Dock Ellis, Curt Flood, and Bill Veeck Jr. comprised the historic first class of electees.
Saturday, May 6, 7-9 PM
A Player for the World: Dave Roberts
In an extraordinary 22-year career in professional baseball (which took him from the Porterville Padres of the Southwest International League in 1952 to the Kintetsu Buffaloes of the Japanese Pacific League in 1973), Dave Roberts witnessed first-hand a tremendous amount of baseball history and social change. Born in Panama, Roberts has lived in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Mexico. Currently a resident of Southern California, he spent seven years playing in Japan’s professional baseball leagues, where he studied the culture and learned to speak the language. Roberts will discuss his journey through baseball, focusing on many of the important figures and influences he encountered at various stops along the way. In addition, he will sign copies of his recently-published autobiography, A Baseball Odyssey (1999, Embarcadero Press).
Friday, May 12, 7-9 PM
Mighty Moor Baseball: From High School to the Hall of Fame
Hosted by AHS staff member Bob Korpal and Baseball Reliquary Executive Director Terry Cannon, this program will provide an overview of the careers of many outstanding baseball players who have graduated from Alhambra High School, including Max West, one of the most feared sluggers in the Pacific Coast League in the post-World War II years, and Ralph Kiner, seven-time National League home run champion for the Pittsburgh Pirates and a 1975 electee to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This program will include appearances by former AHS players, who will discuss their high school and post-high school careers.
For directions on getting to the Alhambra High School Library, refer to the accompanying map. Free parking is available on the street or in the visitor parking lot. Walk south from the visitor parking lot and enter the campus as shown on the map. During regular school hours, it is necessary to obtain a visitor permit from a guard at this entry gate. For additional information, contact the Baseball Reliquary at (626) 791-7647 or the Alhambra High School Library at (626) 308-2340.