Make a selection

The BASEBALL RELIQUARY Inc.


Baseball Reliquary Announces Candidates for
2009 Election of the Shrine of the Eternals

            The Baseball Reliquary, Inc. has announced its list of fifty eligible candidates for the 2009 election of the Shrine of the Eternals, the membership organization’s equivalent to the Baseball Hall of Fame. This year marks the eleventh annual election of the Shrine, 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 thirty individuals previously elected to the Shrine of the Eternals are, in alphabetical order: Jim Abbott, Dick Allen, Emmett Ashford, Moe Berg, Yogi Berra, Ila Borders, Jim Bouton, Jim Brosnan, Bill Buckner, Roberto Clemente, Rod Dedeaux, Dock Ellis, Mark Fidrych, Curt Flood, Josh Gibson, William “Dummy” Hoy, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Bill James, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Marvin Miller, Minnie Minoso, Buck O’Neil, Satchel Paige, Jimmy Piersall, Pam Postema, Jackie Robinson, Lester Rodney, Fernando Valenzuela, Bill Veeck, Jr., and Kenichi Zenimura.
            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 a 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 2009, eight individuals and one ballpark appear on the Shrine of the Eternals ballot for the first time. A tenth candidate, John Montgomery Ward, returns to the ballot after an absence of several years.  (Ward originally appeared on the Shrine ballot in 2000 and 2001.) The newcomers and returnee, in alphabetical order, are:

 BUCKY DENT (b. 1951) – light-hitting Yankee shortstop whose wind-aided pop fly home run in the 1978 AL playoff game with Boston popped the gonfalon bubble of Red Sox Nation, thereby ensuring that no child would ever be nicknamed “Bucky” for generations in New England, and providing this surprise hero of the ensuing World Series with an unforgettable, and unprintable, new middle name.

JUDGE ROY HOFHEINZ (1912-1982) – flamboyant municipal visionary responsible for bringing the game indoors when he masterminded the building of the Houston Astrodome – the so-called Eighth Wonder of the World – in the mid-1960s, unintentionally adding the words Astroturf, turf toe, and turf bounce to the English language when it was discovered that natural grass would not grow in a dark glass bowl.

SMEAD JOLLEY (1902-1991) – in a later age “Smudge” Jolley would have been a multi-millionaire as a DH; as it is, this hard-hitting minor league legend had only a brief career as a big leaguer in the early 1930s when it was discovered that he never met a glove he could use – apocryphal tales concerning his comic fielding mishaps are still told within pro baseball circles.

JOCKO MAXWELL (1907-2008) – Newark-born Maxwell was the first African-American sportscaster – ever; the unofficial “Lord High Chancellor of Communication” for the Negro Leagues’ famed Newark Eagles, Maxwell’s radio broadcasts of the 1930s and ‘40s made him the most familiar baseball voice in African-American homes throughout North Jersey; he passed away last July at the age of 100, without entry into the Hall of Fame.

ORIOLE PARK AT CAMDEN YARDS (1992 – ) – ushering in a new age of thinking about the role of baseball stadia in the urban landscape, Oriole Park – nominally credited to the architecture firm, HOK Sports, but inspired by creative input from a host of other parties – stands out as the most successful postmodern recreation of the nearly extinct pre-WWI baseball cathedral.

RICH POHLE (b. 1938) – real-life protagonist of one of the most amazing tales of baseball grit and determination in memory; in the 1970s the then-36-year-old Pohle faked his identity and played in the low minor leagues as 21-year-old Australian prospect Rocky Perone, using facial creams, shaving three times a day, and wearing a wig to make himself look younger; after the ruse was discovered, he stuck around pro ball as a scout and tutor to many up-and-coming players at his popular baseball school in Southern California.

VIC POWER (1927-2005) – slick-fielding, quick-witted black Puerto Rican first baseman whose frequent hot-dogging and front-office defying off-field comportment masked the fact that he was an excellent player (a multiple-Gold Glove winner and All Star) and an important mentor to a generation of younger Latin ballplayers, including the great Roberto Clemente.

MOSE (MOE) SOLOMON (1900-1966) – outfielder/first baseman nicknamed “The Rabbi of Swat” after belting 49 dingers in the Southwestern League in 1923, Solomon was quickly purchased by the NY Giants, who had been looking for a gate attraction to draw Jewish fans and to counter the popularity of Babe Ruth with the Yankees; unfortunately, he couldn’t field a lick and was released after appearing in only two games.

CHUCK STEVENS (b. 1918) – a baseball lifer who spent 23 years in professional baseball, but less than three in the major leagues (and those with the lowly St. Louis Browns in the 1940s); after his retirement he served for many years as Secretary/Treasurer – and still serves on the Advisory Council – for the Association of Professional Ball Players of America (APBPA), a benevolent organization founded in 1924 to provide financial assistance to down-on-their-luck former ballplayers.

JOHN MONTGOMERY WARD (1860-1925) – one of the most visible and respected players of the 19th century, “Monte” Ward used his natural leadership ability and his trained legal experience to establish The Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players, the first serious attempt to organize a sports labor union, and the breakaway Players’ League of 1890, a noble but failed experiment in employee-owned sports franchising.

             A complete list of all fifty candidates for the 2009 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, 2009. To be eligible to vote, all persons must have their minimum $25.00 annual membership dues paid as of March 31, 2009.
            The three new inductees will be announced in May, with the Induction Day ceremony scheduled for Sunday, July 19, 2008 in Pasadena, California. In addition to the presentation of plaques to the 2009 inductees, this year’s ceremony will honor the recipients of the 2009 Hilda Award (named in memory of Hilda Chester and acknowledging a baseball fan’s exceptional devotion to the game) and the 2009 Tony Salin Memorial Award (presented annually to an individual dedicated to the preservation 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.

       

 THE SHRINE OF THE ETERNALS
w
CANDIDATES FOR THE 2009 ELECTION w

 

2009 Candidates
The number to the right of candidates’ names indicates number of years on Shrine of the Eternals ballot.

1. Hank Aguirre (5) 26. Andrew Lampert (2)
2. Eliot Asinof (5) 27. Effa Manley (11)
3. Billy Bean (6) 28. Roger Maris (5)
4. Chet Brewer (10) 29. Dr. Mike Marshall (4)
5. Charlie Brown (2) 30. Jocko Maxwell (New!)
6. Helen Callaghan (6)  31. Tug McGraw (6)
7. Charles M. Conlon (8)   32. “Nuf Ced” McGreevey (3)
8. Steve Dalkowski (11)         33. Fred Merkle (3)
9. Dizzy Dean (9) 34. Manny Mota (2)
10. Ed Delahanty (6) 35. Oriole Park (New!)
11. Buck Dent (New!)  36. Rich Pohle (New!)
12. Jim Eisenreich (2) 37. Phil Pote (7)
13. Eddie Feigner (9 38. Vic Power (New!)
14. Lisa Fernandez (9) 39. Dan Quisenberry (3)
15. Susan Fornoff (2) 40. J.R. Richard (10)
16. Rube Foster  (11) 41. Mose Solomon (New!)
17. Ted Giannoulas (7)    42. Rusty Staub (4)
18. Jim “Mudcat” Grant (5)  43. Casey Stengel (11)
19. Pete Gray (11)          44. Chuck Stevens (New!)
20. Ernie Harwell (6) 45. Luis Tiant (7)
21. Judge Roy Hofheinz (New!)      46. Fay Vincent (8)
22. Dr. Frank Jobe (7)       47. Rube Waddell (11)
23. Smead Jolley (New!)      48. John Montgomery Ward (3)
24. Charles “Pop” Kelchner (2) 49. Wally Yonamine (2)
25. Mike “King” Kelly (2)         50. Don Zimmer (5)

Back Next 
[Collections Index]