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The BASEBALL RELIQUARY Inc.


SHRINE OF THE ETERNALS:
2002 INDUCTION DAY

Sunday, July 28, 2002 ~ 2:00 PM

Donald R. Wright Auditorium
Pasadena Central Library
285 East Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA

Free Admission / Information (626) 791-7647

            The Baseball Reliquary will sponsor the 2002 Induction Day ceremony for its fourth class of electees to the Shrine of the Eternals on Sunday, July 28, 2002 in Pasadena, California. The Baseball Reliquary is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history. The highest honor afforded an individual by the Baseball Reliquary is election to the Shrine of the Eternals, and only three individuals are elected on an annual basis. Similar in concept to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Shrine of the Eternals differs philosophically in that statistical accomplishment is not the sole criterion for election; rather, candidates are nominated based on overall contributions to, and impact made on, baseball. Voting is conducted by the national membership of the Baseball Reliquary, and membership is open to the public. Past inductees to the Shrine of the Eternals include, in alphabetical order, Moe Berg, Jim Bouton, Dock Ellis, Curt Flood, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Satchel Paige, Jimmy Piersall, Pam Postema, and Bill Veeck, Jr. The class of electees for 2002, selected from a ballot consisting of fifty candidates, is comprised of Minnie Minoso, Mark Fidrych, and Shoeless Joe Jackson.

            One of only two players to appear in five different decades (he would have been the first to appear in six decades had the Commissioner’s Office not prevented him from playing in the 1990s), Cuban-born Saturnino Orestes Arrieta Armas “Minnie” Minoso is truly a baseball legend, one of the most exciting and popular performers in the game’s history. “Minnie Minoso is to Latin ballplayers what Jackie Robinson is to black ballplayers,” Orlando Cepeda said. “He was the first Latin American baseball player to become what in today’s language is a ‘superstar.’” Known as “The Cuban Comet,” Minoso debuted with the Cleveland Indians in 1949 but gained his greatest fame with the Chicago White Sox, to whom he was traded in 1951, thus becoming the first black player to wear a White Sox uniform. A three-time Gold Glove outfielder and daring basestealer who appeared in seven All-Star games, Minoso ushered in the era of the “Go-Go Sox,” and his presence in the lineup helped turn that club from perennial doormats to perennial contenders. Still active as a goodwill ambassador for the White Sox, Minoso will attend the ceremony to personally accept his induction into the Shrine of the Eternals. He will be introduced by Tomas Benitez, a Los Angeles-based arts administrator for over 20 years, working with a number of community-based groups, including Plaza de la Raza, the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, and Self-Help Graphics and Art in East Los Angeles, where he is currently the director.

            A baseball phenomenon of the highest order, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych spent five years pitching for the Detroit Tigers (1976-1980). In his spectacular rookie season in 1976 (19 wins and a 2.34 ERA), he captured the fancy of the nation with his uninhibited enthusiasm for the game. The free-spirited right-hander with the unruly blond locks and animated pitching style would talk to the ball, shake hands with his infielders after they made difficult plays, and get down on his hands and knees to landscape the pitching mound. Sadly, injuries brought a premature end to Fidrych’s career, but he remains one of baseball’s greatest cult heroes. Fidrych’s induction will be accepted by Los Angeles-based comedian and actor Thom Sharp. A Michigan native and lifelong Detroit Tigers fan, Sharp is known to television audiences for his appearances on The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman and as Tim Allen’s older brother on Home Improvement.

            Undeniably one of the game’s greatest natural talents (his .356 lifetime batting average is the third highest in major league history, behind only Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby), Shoeless Joe Jackson (1889-1951) fell from public grace as a result of his implication in the fixing of the 1919 World Series, the most infamous scandal in American sports history. Banished from organized baseball at the end of the 1920 season, Jackson returned to his native South, where the left-handed hitting outfielder barnstormed for years with semipro baseball teams in order to make a living, all the while maintaining his innocence and hoping to be reinstated. Accepting the induction of Jackson on behalf of his remaining relatives and the Shoeless Joe Jackson Society will be Mike Nola. A computer programmer by trade and Coordinator of Computer Applications for Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, Nola is one of the foremost authorities on Joe Jackson, having researched his life for the past 17 years. He became involved in the movement to clear Jackson’s name from major league baseball’s ineligible list in 1990 when he joined the Shoeless Joe Jackson Society (he also developed and maintains their Web site, the Shoeless Joe Jackson Virtual Hall of Fame), whose 15,000 members worldwide comprise the strongest and most impassioned voice for the reevaluation of one of baseball’s most misunderstood and misrepresented figures.

            The ceremony will commence with the 2002 Keynote address, to be delivered by Peter Golenbock, the renowned baseball historian and author, whose books include Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964; Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers; Fenway; Wrigleyville; The Spirit of St. Louis; and the recently published Amazin’: The Miraculous History of New York’s Most Beloved Baseball Team. A frequent guest on television and radio talk shows including Biography on A&E and SportsCentury on ESPN, Golenbock resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.

            In addition to the unveiling of the 2002 inductee plaques, another highlight of the ceremony will be the presentation of the 2002 Hilda Award, named in memory of beloved Brooklyn Dodgers fan Hilda Chester and given to a fan for his/her extraordinary passion for and dedication to baseball; and the first annual Tony Salin Memorial Award, named for the late baseball author and researcher, which honors individuals for their contributions to preserving baseball history.

            The 2002 Induction Day ceremony will be held on Sunday, July 28, 2002 at the Donald R. Wright Auditorium in the Pasadena Central Library, 285 East Walnut Street, Pasadena, California. The doors will open at 1:30 PM and the ceremony will begin at 2:00 PM. Admission is open to the public and free of charge. Seating will be on a first come first served basis with a capacity of 177 people. The auditorium is accessible to the handicapped, and a sign language interpreter will be provided if necessary. Free parking is available on the street in the vicinity of the library or in the Los Angeles County parking structure located at 240 Ramona Street, one-half block south of Walnut, between Marengo and Garfield Avenues.

            For further information, contact the Baseball Reliquary by mail at PO Box 1850, Monrovia, CA 91017; by phone at (626) 791-7647; or by e-mail at skpubs@earthlink.net.

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