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The BASEBALL RELIQUARY Inc.


Terry Cannon

Don Kirby, who has studied Indian music for many years and has performed with the legendary Ravi Shankar, entertains the arriving audience with improvisations on the sitar.

The Baseball Reliquary’s Executive Director, Terry Cannon, commences the Shrine of the Eternals Induction Day with the traditional “call to order,” a ceremonial bell ringing in honor of Hilda Chester.

 

Don Kirby returns to the stage, exchanging the sitar for the ukulele for his arrangements of the National Anthem and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Both renditions can be viewed on YouTube.com.

The first presentation is the 2007 Hilda Award, named in honor of the beloved Brooklyn Dodgers fan Hilda Chester and established in 2001 to recognize distinguished service to the game by a baseball fan. The award is a well-worn cowbell encased in a Plexiglas box with an engraved description.

 

Dick Beverage

The Hilda Award is accepted by Cass Sapir of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who crisscrossed the country in 2006 in an old Honda, traveling to every minor and major league ballpark – a total of 189 stadiums – in a mind-boggling 157 days. He used his self-financed trip as a means of raising money and awareness for the Jimmy Fund, a Boston-based charity that raises funds for cancer research.

 

The current president of the Society for American Baseball Research, Dick Beverage accepts the 2007 Tony Salin Memorial Award on behalf of Mark Rucker, who was unable to attend. Named for the late baseball author and researcher, the award annually honors an individual dedicated to preserving baseball history. Beverage, who is a former Salin Award winner (2005), spoke about Rucker’s pioneering contributions as a baseball photo archivist and president of Transcendental Graphics, a Boulder, Colorado-based photo agency that has provided baseball images of all kinds to countless books, films, and other assorted projects for many years.

 

An esteemed Reliquarian, Tomas Benitez, who introduced previous Shrine inductees Minnie Minoso (2002) and Fernando Valenzuela (2006), delivers the keynote address for the 2007 Induction Day. Currently the Development Director for Plaza de la Raza in East Los Angeles, Benitez entitled his speech, “Ardent Fans of the Imperfect Beauty of the Game of Baseball.”

 

Standing in once again for Yogi Berra, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to a previous charity commitment, is Charlie Silvera. Silvera was Yogi’s backup catcher for many years, and while he didn’t play much, he did win six championship rings and collected an awful lot of World Series paychecks. After retiring as a player in 1957, Silvera went on to coach and scout for several major league teams and currently works as a part-time scout for the Chicago Cubs. Silvera offered some very humorous anecdotes about his illustrious former teammate.

 

Toni Mollett, the grandniece of Casey Stengel, walks to the podium to read the acceptance speech forwarded to her by Yogi Berra. Toni and her family attended the ceremony from their home in Reno, Nevada.

 

John Schulian introduces inductee Jim Brosnan, who was unable to attend the ceremony as he was recovering from a fall at his home in Morton Grove, Illinois. A longtime Sports Illustrated contributor and Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist, Schulian returned to the stage of the Donald R. Wright Auditorium two years after delivering the keynote address at the Shrine of the Eternals 2005 Induction Day.

 

Distinguished writer and commentator, as well as major contributor to the Baseball Analysts.com Web site, Rich Lederer introduces the afternoon’s third inductee, Bill James.

 

Author, historian, and Senior Baseball Operations Advisor for the Boston Red Sox, Bill James personally accepts his induction into the Shrine of the Eternals. Rich Lederer called James “the most influential person with respect to how we think about baseball since Branch Rickey.”

 

Charlie Silvera with his wife, Rose.

Charlie Silvera shows one of his World Series rings to Toni Mollett.

 

John Schulian and Cass Sapir

2007 Hilda Award recipient Cass Sapir talks to Rea Wilson, who was the award’s inaugural recipient in 2001. In the year 2000, at the age of 77, Mrs. Wilson went on her own baseball road trip, traveling 18,000 miles in her van and visiting all 30 major league ballparks in the United States and Canada.

John Schulian with Cass Sapir.

 

 

Bill James signs copies of the recently-published book, How Bill James Changed Our View of Baseball, edited by Gregory F. Augustine Pierce and published by ACTA Sports.

 

Kerry Yo Nakagawa and Adrienne Bratton

Kerry Yo Nakagawa, who received the 2006 Tony Salin Memorial Award for his contributions to preserving the legacy of Japanese Americans in baseball, shares a story with Adrienne Bratton, the daughter of Emmett Ashford, who was the first African-American umpire in both organized baseball and in the major leagues.

A group portrait featuring Bill James, Toni Mollett, John Schulian, Charlie Silvera, Rich Lederer, and Tomas Benitez.

 


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