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The BASEBALL RELIQUARY Inc.


           

Baseball Reliquary Announces Candidates for
 
2006 Election of the Shrine of the Eternals

                 The Baseball Reliquary, Inc. has announced its list of fifty eligible candidates for the 2006 election to the Shrine of the Eternals, the membership organization’s equivalent to the Baseball Hall of Fame. This year marks the eighth annual election of the Shrine, which has become a major national component of the Baseball Reliquary, a Southern California-based organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history. The twenty-one individuals previously elected to the Shrine of the Eternals are, in alphabetical order: Jim Abbott, Dick Allen, Moe Berg, Ila Borders, Jim Bouton, Roberto Clemente, Rod Dedeaux, Dock Ellis, Mark Fidrych, Curt Flood, William “Dummy” Hoy, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Marvin Miller, Minnie Minoso, Satchel Paige, Jimmy Piersall, Pam Postema, Jackie Robinson, Lester Rodney, and Bill Veeck, Jr.
                The Shrine of the Eternals is similar in concept to the annual elections held at the Baseball Hall of Fame, but differs philosophically in that statistical accomplishment is not a criterion for election. Rather, the Shrine’s annual ballot is comprised of individuals – from the obscure to the well known – who have altered the baseball world in ways that supersede statistics.
                On a procedural level, the Shrine of the Eternals differs significantly from the Baseball Hall of Fame in the manner by which electees are chosen. While the Baseball Hall of Fame’s electees are chosen in voting conducted by a closed group of sportswriters or committees, the Baseball Reliquary chooses its enshrined by a vote open to public membership. A screening committee appointed by the Reliquary’s Board of Directors prepares an annual ballot consisting of fifty candidates, on which the membership votes annually. The three candidates receiving the highest percentage of votes gain automatic election.
                Among the fifty eligible candidates for 2006, twelve individuals appear on the Shrine of the Eternals ballot for the first time. The newcomers, in alphabetical order, are:

 PING BODIE – among the first offspring of Italian immigrants from the San Francisco Bay Area to crack “The Show,” the wisecracking Bodie (b. Francesco Stephano Pezzolo) made his reputation as a thumper and a writer’s dream, first with the San Francisco Seals and shortly afterward during a nine-year stint with the White Sox, Athletics, and Ruth-led Yankees (1911-1921). Bodie is reputed to be one of the players used as a composite in Ring Lardner’s You Know Me Al stories.
ROCKY BRIDGES – baseball quipster and eminent practitioner of the vanishing art of nicknaming players, Bridges exchanged a sub-memorable career as a big league utility infielder for a near-mythic career as a minor league manager, issuing forth memorably funny one-liners as effortlessly as loosing a stream of tobacco juice on the dugout floor.
RYNE DUREN – large, intimidating fireballer from the 1950s and ‘60s whose tinted Coke-bottle glasses and practice of hurling his first warm-up pitch high against the backboard immediately intimidated opposing batters, who prayed not to get hit by an errant Duren fastball. The pitcher, a legendary drunk during his playing days, forsook alcohol after his career and, like fellow pitcher Sam McDowell, now counsels alcoholics.
MIKE MARSHALL – Dr. Mike Marshall was so far ahead of the curve in his baseball conditioning regimen that numerous managers thought he was a kook, that is until Expos skipper Gene Mauch let Marshall put his kinesiological practices to the test, resulting in a ML-record 92 game appearances and a 14-11 record with 31 saves in 1973. Marshall surpassed these numbers in 1974 with the L.A. Dodgers when he posted ML records for appearances (106), most relief innings pitched, and most consecutive appearances in a season by a reliever (13), while copping both the NL Fireman of the Year and Cy Young Awards. His outspoken demeanor and vociferous involvement with the Players Association, coupled with age, injuries, and perceived case of hopeless egomania, ended his playing career in 1981.
PEPPER MARTIN – gifted with the on-field drive of a hellion and the panache to pull it off without creating deadly enemies, John “Pepper” Martin (a.k.a. “The Wild Horse of the Osage”) was the personification of the 1930s St. Louis Cardinals fabled “Gas House Gang,” the pennant-winning crew who terrorized the NL (and the 1931 Philadelphia Athletics) with their down-and-dirty, no-holds-barred brand of winning baseball. When not watching opponents commit hari kari on the field, the 3B-OFer Martin pleasured patrons with horseplay aplenty, from his participation in the Cardinals musical Mudcat Band to his pre-game and spring training on-field comic pantomimes. Oh! rumor has it that he never wore underwear.
GENE MAUCH – hard-driven, hard-luck field tactician subject to criticism as an adherent of “small” ball, whose long career as a big league skipper unfortunately became synonymous with the word choke (thanks to the pennant-bumbling of his 1964 Phillies and 1982 and 1986 Angels), thereby clouding the reputation of a baseball lifer otherwise recognized as one of the smartest and gamest managers in baseball history.
MAX McLEARY – one-eyed umpire (yes, one-eyed, you gotta problem widdat?) who beat the odds and silenced the critics, ultimately becoming the dean of arbiters in the independent Frontier League, and among one of the most respected men in blue throughout the Midwest minor league and semi-pro circuits.
JOHN MEEDEN – his personal life shrouded in obscurity and personal tragedy, the intentionally mysterious John Meeden has been called the Hobo Roy Hobbs and the Unnatural Natural by some, simply “Homeless” John by others. He is a quiet gent somewhere in his sixties who wears his straggly, silvery hair long and competes in street clothes, and who is universally respected among his peers as the batting scourge of the highly competitive Midwest senior league softball circuit.
BOBO NEWSOM – over the course of a 20-year pitching career, the boastful, self-confident, and well-traveled Newsom played for nine different teams, including some of the worst of his era (1929-1953), not only once, but several times: the Athletics (twice), the Brooklyn Dodgers (three times), and the lowly Senators (five times). Apparently, he played with so many men that he couldn’t remember their names, calling everyone “Bobo” instead. Still, the peripatetic Newsom was able to fashion multiple 20-win campaigns (lifetime 211-222; only one other hurler shares the distinction of 200 games won and more lost), capped by a 21-5 record with the 1940 Detroit Tigers. He won two games in the Series, only to perform courageously in the important seventh game just after learning of his father’s death: he lost, 2-1.
HAL RICHMAN – as a precocious teen, Richman devised a baseball card game that would evolve by the early 1960s into Strat-O-Matic Baseball, a tabletop baseball simulation that swiftly captured the hearts and imaginations of baseball enthusiasts everywhere, from little leaguers to big leaguers and beyond, including the likes of pro players Keith Hernandez, Len Dykstra, Ken Singleton, announcer Jon Miller, and thousands of more adherents, each attracted to the game’s playability, superior statistics, and devotion to Richman as a square-shooter.
JOHNNY SAIN – he of the “Spahn, Sain, and pray for rain” 1948 Braves who fashioned a stellar big league pitching career exceeded only by his post-retirement vocation as one of the most popular, innovative, and effective pitching coaches in major league history, qualities that led Jim Bouton to extol him “as the greatest pitching coach who ever lived,” much to the chagrin of Sain’s managers, who consistently and jealously regarded him as undermining their authority.
RUSTY STAUB – unquestionably the most popular player to don a Montreal Expos uniform, as evidenced by his affectionate nickname “Le Grand Orange,” Staub’s insatiable curiosity led him to multiple careers as a feared hitter, gourmand, restaurateur, and philanthropist. Breaking in as a line drive-smacking 19-year-old rookie with the expansion Colt .45s and concluding it as a pinch-hitter extraordinaire with the 1980s Mets, Staub also sandwiched in stints with the Expos, Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers. He became, upon retirement in 1983, the only major league player to have 500 hits with four different teams and shares the distinction with Ty Cobb of being the only player to hit a home run before age 20 and after age 40.

                 A complete list of all fifty candidates for the 2006 election of the Shrine of the Eternals follows. Election packets, containing ballots and biographical profiles of all candidates, will be mailed to Baseball Reliquary members on April 1, 2006. To be eligible to vote, all persons must have their minimum $25.00 annual membership dues paid as of March 31, 2006.
                The three new inductees will be announced in May, with the Induction Day ceremony scheduled for Sunday, July 23, 2006 in Pasadena, California. In addition to the presentation of plaques to the 2006 inductees, this year’s ceremony will honor the recipients of the 2006 Hilda Award (named in memory of Hilda Chester and acknowledging the dedication of a deserving baseball fan) and the 2006 Tony Salin Memorial Award (presented annually to an individual dedicated to the preservation or presentation of baseball history).
                For additional information on the Shrine of the Eternals, contact Terry Cannon, Executive Director of the Baseball Reliquary, at P.O. Box 1850, Monrovia, CA 91017; by phone at (626) 791-7647; or by e-mail at terymar@earthlink.net.

       

Shrine of the Eternals - 2002  

The Shrine of the Eternals
Candidates for the 2006 Election

Shrine of the Eternals - 2002

2006 Candidates
The number to the right of candidates’ names indicates number of years on Shrine of the Eternals ballot.

1.  Hank Aguirre (2) 26.  Dr. Frank Jobe (4)
2.  Lee Allen  (3) 27.  Effa Manley (8)
3.  Eliot Asinof (2) 28.  Mike Marshall (New!)
4Billy Bean (3) 29Pepper Martin (New!)
5Yogi Berra (8) 30Gene Mauch (New!)
6Ping Bodie (New!) 31Tug McGraw (3)
7Chet Brewer (7) 32Max McLeary (New!)
8Rocky Bridges (New!) 33John Meeden (New!)
9Bill Buckner (6) 34.  Willard Mullin (2)
10 Helen Callaghan (3) 35.  Bobo Newsom (New!)
11Charles M. Conlon (5) 36Phil Pote (4)
12Roger Craig (2) 37.  Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe (2)
13Steve Dalkowski (8) 38J.R. Richard (7)
14Dizzy Dean (6) 39Hal Richman (New!)
15Ed Delahanty (3) 40Mickey Rivers (3)
16Ryne Duren (New!) 41Johnny Sain (New!)
17 Eddie Feigner (6) 42Bob Sheppard (3)
18Lisa Fernandez (6) 43Rusty Staub (New!)
19.  Rube Foster (8) 44.  Casey Stengel  (8)
20.  Ted Giannoulas (4) 45.  Fernando Valenzuela  (6)
21.  Josh Gibson (8) 46.  Fay Vincent  (5)
22.  Jim "Mudcat" Grant (2) 47.  Rube Waddell  (8)
23.  Pete Gray (8) 48Sol White (3)
24.  Ernie Harwell (3) 49.  Kenichi Zenimura  (6)
25.  Bill James (4) 50Don Zimmer (2)

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