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Ellie Choate

Tom Tully

The ceremony commenced with Ellie Choate performing the National Anthem on harp, followed by a medley of “In the Good Old Summertime” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”


A mainstay of Off the Wall, Los Angeles’ longest-running improv comedy ensemble, Tom Tully prepares to accept the 2006 Hilda Award on behalf of comedian, actor, and Chicago Cubs fan extraordinaire Bill Murray. Named in honor of the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers fan Hilda Chester, the Hilda was established as an annual award by the Baseball Reliquary in 2001 to recognize distinguished service to the game by a baseball fan.


Kerry Yo Nakagawa

Samuel O. Regalado

Kerry Yo Nakagawa, founder and director of the Nisei Baseball Research Project, a Fresno, California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of Japanese Americans in baseball, gratefully accepts the 2006 Tony Salin Memorial Award. The award, established in memory of the late author, historian, and Reliquarian, Tony Salin, recognizes individuals who are engaged in the preservation of baseball history. Nakagawa would later return to the podium to introduce Kenichi Zenimura’s induction.

Samuel O. Regalado, Professor of History at California State University, Stanislaus, delivers the keynote address for the 2006 Induction Day.


Leroy Cooper

Sean Gibson

Leroy Cooper introduces Sean Gibson, who accepted the induction of Josh Gibson into the Shrine of the Eternals on behalf of the Gibson family. A retired fireman for the City of Inglewood, California, Cooper has immersed himself in the history of African-American baseball since his teenage years when he was introduced to and played for the legendary Negro League pitcher Chet Brewer.

Sean Gibson accepts the induction of his great-grandfather, Josh Gibson, into the Shrine of the Eternals. As Executive Director of the Pittsburgh-based Josh Gibson Foundation, which provides youth with greater access to educational resources, scholarships, support services, and training, Sean actively promotes his great-grandfather’s extraordinary legacy.


Tomas Benitez

Bobby Castillo

Born and raised in East Los Angeles, California, Tomas Benitez introduces inductee Fernando Valenzuela and Bobby Castillo. The Development Director for Plaza de la Raza, the only multidisciplinary cultural arts center serving Latinos in Los Angeles, Benitez appeared on the same stage four years earlier to introduce Minnie Minoso’s induction into the Shrine of the Eternals.

Former teammate Bobby Castillo accepts the induction of Fernando Valenzuela on his behalf. Valenzuela was unable to attend the ceremony as he was announcing on the Dodgers’ Spanish-language radio broadcast that afternoon. Castillo, a former relief pitcher who is credited with teaching Valenzuela the screwball, elicited laughter from the audience by remarking, “I’m still finishing up for him.”


Kenso “Howard” Zenimura

Tets Furukawa, Kerry Yo Nakagawa, and Kenso Howard Zenimura

Kenso “Howard” Zenimura walks to the podium to accept the induction of his father, Kenichi Zenimura, into the Shrine of the Eternals. Howard played baseball at Fresno State College and, in the 1950s, played professionally in Japan with the Hiroshima Carp. For over 25 years, he has coached and organized youth baseball teams in Fresno which annually compete in goodwill tours with Japan, Korea, China, Mexico, and Hawaii.

Tets Furukawa and Kerry Yo Nakagawa flank Kenso Howard Zenimura, who holds the Shrine of the Eternals inductee plaque for his father, Kenichi. Furukawa played baseball in the World War II internment camp at Gila River, Arizona, where, under Kenichi Zenimura’s guidance, baseball fields were constructed and teams and leagues were formed behind barbed wire.


Bobby Castillo, Kenso Howard Zenimura, and Sean Gibson

Bobby Castillo, Kenso Howard Zenimura, and Sean Gibson.


Jennie Reiff & Sean Gibson

Julisa Terry & Sean Gibson

Reliquary member Jennie  Reiff, wearing a Homestead Grays jersey, with Sean Gibson.

Julisa Terry with Sean Gibson.


Bobby Castillo

Bobby Castillo signs autographs for baseball fans in attendance.


Bobby Castillo greets Dr. David Fletcher

Bobby Castillo greets Dr. David Fletcher, the 2005 Hilda Award recipient, who was attending the 2006 ceremony from his home in Chicago.


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