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The BASEBALL RELIQUARY Inc.


The Shrine of the Eternals 2000

 

SHRINE OF THE ETERNALS: 2000 INDUCTION DAY

Donald R. Wright Auditorium, Pasadena Central Library
285 East Walnut Street, Pasadena, California
Sunday, July 16, 2000 ~ 2:30 PM PST
Free Admission / Information (626) 791-7647

The Baseball Reliquary, Inc. will sponsor the 2000 Induction Day ceremony for its second class of electees to the Shrine of the Eternals on Sunday, July 16, 2000 in Pasadena, California. The Baseball Reliquary is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its interaction with American culture. The highest honor afforded an individual by the Baseball Reliquary is election to the Shrine of the Eternals. Similar in concept to Cooperstown’s National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Shrine of the Eternals differs philosophically in that statistical accomplishment on the field of play is not a criterion for election. Candidates are elected based on the uniqueness of their character and personality and the imprint that they have made on the baseball landscape. Voting is conducted on an annual basis by members of the Baseball Reliquary, and membership is open to the public.

The class of electees for 2000 includes Moe Berg, Bill Lee, and Pam Postema. Morris "Moe" Berg (1902-1972) spent 17 years in professional baseball as a player and coach, beginning with the Brooklyn Robins as a backup catcher in 1923, and was perhaps the most enigmatic and cerebral figure the game has ever known. It was said that Berg, the original "good field, no hit" ballplayer (.243 career batting average), could speak a dozen languages but couldn’t hit in any of them. After retiring from baseball, this American original, who hobnobbed with everyone from Babe Ruth and Ted Williams to Chico Marx and Albert Einstein, became America’s premier atomic spy during World War II in Europe.

For 14 years as a left-handed pitcher (1969-1982) with the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, Bill Lee was anything but a conventional major league ballplayer. His rebellious spirit and opposition to the conservative baseball establishment usually rated more attention than his performance on the field. Nicknamed "Spaceman" to describe his free spirit, Lee was a folk hero to fans, a voice of sanity in a game corrupted by "planet-polluting owners." In retrospect, he was a "purist" and "traditionalist" who opposed the designated hitter, artificial turf, stadiums made of concrete and devoid of personality, and the corporate mindset that dominated baseball’s management.

Pam Postema toiled in baseball’s minor leagues for 13 years (1977-1989) as an umpire, by far the longest tenure of any woman in an on-field capacity in major professional sports. An excellent arbiter, Postema endured years of low pay, poor working conditions, and a constant battle for respect from players, managers, and colleagues in her quest to become the first female umpire at the major league level. She watched many of her male counterparts, often possessing less experience than she, promoted to the big leagues. Much like Jackie Robinson a generation earlier, Postema singlehandedly attempted to break one of the game’s longest-standing barriers. Unlike Robinson, though, her dream was never realized. After being released from organized baseball in 1989, Postema filed a sexual discrimination lawsuit against the Lords of Baseball, who were determined to keep their field of dreams a male privilege.

The Induction Day ceremony for the 2000 class of electees to the Shrine of the Eternals will be held on Sunday, July 16, 2000 at the Donald R. Wright Auditorium in the Pasadena Central Library, 285 East Walnut Street, Pasadena, California. The doors will open at 2:00 PM and the ceremony will begin at 2:30 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. The auditorium is accessible to the handicapped, and a sign language interpreter will be provided if needed. Free parking is available on the street in the vicinity of the library.

A highlight of the ceremony will be the unveiling of the 2000 Inductee plaques. Bill Lee and Pam Postema will personally attend to accept their inductions. Jon Blank, Director of the Jewish Baseball Western Wall of Fame, will accept induction on behalf of the late Moe Berg. Keynote addresses will be delivered by Tony Salin and Tomas Benitez. The San Francisco-based Salin recently completed a three-month trip driving around the country to promote his book, Baseball’s Forgotten Heroes: One Fan’s Search for the Game’s Most Interesting Overlooked Players. Benitez is the Director of Self Help Graphics & Art, a community-based organization located in East Los Angeles which is renowned for its programs and services which promote the rich contribution of Chicano art and culture to the American landscape. Filmmaker Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, Cobb, White Men Can’t Jump, Tin Cup, Play It to the Bone, and others) is also scheduled to appear and will introduce Bill Lee.

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


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