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Sunday, July 24, 2005 ~ 2:00 PM

Donald R. Wright Auditorium, Pasadena Central Library
285 East Walnut Street, Pasadena, California
Free Admission / Information (626) 791-7647

            The Baseball Reliquary will sponsor the 2005 Induction Day ceremony for its seventh class of electees to the Shrine of the Eternals on Sunday, July 24, 2005, beginning at 2:00 PM, 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 admission is open to the public and free of charge. The inductees will be Rod Dedeaux, Jackie Robinson, and Lester Rodney. The keynote address will be delivered by John Schulian, a longtime Sports Illustrated contributor and former Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist. In addition, the Baseball Reliquary will honor the recipients of the 2005 Hilda Award, Dr. David Fletcher, and the 2005 Tony Salin Memorial Award, Richard Beverage.
            The festivities will commence with an Induction Day tradition, the ceremonial bell ringing in honor of the late Brooklyn Dodgers fan Hilda Chester; everyone who attends is encouraged to bring a bell to ring for this occasion. The National Anthem will be performed by the Enormous Bones, a trombone ensemble headed up by Bruce Fowler. A mainstay of Southern California music, Fowler plays and writes music ranging from modern classical to down-home blues, and his performing credits include stints with such notables as Buddy Rich, Quincy Jones, and Frank Zappa.
            For further information, contact the Baseball Reliquary by phone at (626) 791-7647 or by e-mail at The 2005 Induction Day is co-sponsored by the Pasadena Public Library and supported in part by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.


            The highest honor afforded an individual by the Baseball Reliquary is election to the Shrine of the Eternals. Three individuals are elected on an annual basis in voting conducted in April by the membership of the Reliquary. Similar in concept to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Shrine of the Eternals differs philosophically in that statistical accomplishment is not a criterion for election; the Shrine, rather, honors individuals who have impacted the baseball landscape in ways that do not necessarily have anything to do with numbers. The 2005 electees — Rod Dedeaux, Jackie Robinson, and Lester Rodney — will join previous inductees Jim Abbott, Dick Allen, Moe Berg, Ila Borders, Jim Bouton, Roberto Clemente, 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, and Bill Veeck, Jr.
            As revered as Knute Rockne was in amateur football and John Wooden in basketball, RAOUL “ROD” DEDEAUX is a baseball icon and one of the most beloved figures in the history of the collegiate game. Following a brief stint in the major leagues (four at-bats for the 1935 Brooklyn Dodgers), Dedeaux became head baseball coach at the University of Southern California in 1942, winning 1,332 games in 45 seasons, including 28 conference titles and an unprecedented 11 national championships. More than fifty of his players went on to major league careers. A tireless advocate for the amateur game, Dedeaux supervised baseball clinics throughout the world and was the prime force behind the Olympic baseball movement, coaching the silver medal-winning U.S. team in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Now 91 years of age, Dedeaux will attend the ceremony to personally accept his induction. He will be introduced by longtime friend Tommy Hawkins, a one-time basketball star for the University of Notre Dame and Los Angeles Lakers and former Vice President of Communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
            As the first African American to play officially in the major leagues in the 20th century, JACKIE ROBINSON (1919-1972) is widely recognized as the most important professional baseball player in postwar America. A multi-sport star at UCLA, Robinson played baseball with the Negro Leagues’ Kansas City Monarchs before signing a minor league contract with the Montreal Royals, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ International League affiliate, in 1946. The following year, he integrated major league baseball when he debuted with the Dodgers, with whom he would play for ten seasons. The first African-American player to win both Rookie of the Year (1947) and Most Valuable Player (1949) honors, Robinson was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal earlier this year in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. Jackie Robinson’s induction will be accepted by Delano Robinson (the widow of Jackie’s brother, Mack Robinson) on behalf of the Robinson family. Mrs. Robinson will be introduced by Horace Wormely, Neighborhood Services Administrator for the City of Pasadena, California.
            Born in New York City in 1911 (the year before the Titanic sunk), LESTER RODNEY grew up an avid Brooklyn Dodgers fan. In 1936, newly hired as the first sports editor of the Daily Worker, the house organ of the American Communist Party, Rodney immediately used his position with the paper to launch an attack on the continued hypocrisy of the color line in baseball, and he would play a pivotal role in the campaign to integrate baseball that culminated with Branch Rickey’s signing of Jackie Robinson. Unfortunately, due to the virulent anti-Communist posturing of the period, Rodney’s vigorous efforts in this area were woefully neglected until recent years when he was “rediscovered” and was the subject of a biography by Irwin Silber, Press Box Red: The Story of Lester Rodney, the Communist Who Helped Break the Color Line in American Sports. Now 94 years of age and a resident of Northern California, Rodney will attend the ceremony to personally accept his induction. Rodney will be introduced by way of a special tribute written for him by Jules Tygiel, Professor of History at San Francisco State University and author of several books including Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy.


            The keynote address for the 2005 Induction Day will be presented by JOHN SCHULIAN, a longtime Sports Illustrated contributor and former Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist. A Southern California resident, Schulian is the author of Writers’ Fighters and Other Sweet Scientists, the writing in which has been compared to that of Red Smith and A.J. Liebling. His widely anthologized work has been included in The Best American Sports Writing 1994, ten editions of Best Sports Stories, and Sports Illustrated’s Fifty Years of Great Writing. His most recent book, Twilight of the Long-ball Gods: Dispatches from the Disappearing Heart of Baseball, which includes essays on Josh Gibson, Bill Veeck, and vagabond players and underdogs who give baseball its heart and soul, reaffirms Schulian’s status as one of the finest sportswriters of our time. He is also recognized for his television writing, including creating the series Xena: Warrior Princess, and for his occasional commentaries on National Public Radio.
            The ceremony will also feature the presentation of the 2005 Hilda Award, named in memory of the beloved Brooklyn Dodgers fan Hilda Chester and given annually to a fan for his/her extraordinary passion for and dedication to baseball. This year’s recipient is DR. DAVID FLETCHER, a noted national expert in the occupational health field and devoted Chicago baseball fan who was married in 1998 at what was once home plate of old Comiskey Park, with former White Sox player Bill Melton as a witness. In 2003, Dr. Fletcher founded, an organization dedicated to clearing former White Sox third baseman — and banned Black Sox member — Buck Weaver. He is currently developing plans for a museum that would honor Chicago’s many contributions to the national pastime. Dr. Fletcher will be in attendance from his home in Chicago to personally accept the Hilda Award.
            Another highlight of the ceremony will be the presentation of the 2005 Tony Salin Memorial Award, named for the late baseball author and researcher, which annually honors one individual for his/her dedication to preserving baseball history. This year’s recipient is RICHARD BEVERAGE. In addition to serving as current President of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), Beverage is one of the preeminent authorities on the Pacific Coast League. He is founder and President of the Pacific Coast League Historical Society; editor and publisher of the Pacific Coast League Potpourri, a bimonthly newsletter on Pacific Coast League history; and author of two seminal books on PCL teams, The Angels: Los Angeles in the Pacific Coast League 1919-1957 and The Hollywood Stars: Baseball in Movieland 1926-1957. Beverage also serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the Association of Professional Ballplayers of America, a non-profit organization which assists former players who are in need.

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