Baseball Reliquary
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Baseball Reliquary

The Baseball Reliquary is a nonprofit educational organization "dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history and to exploring the national pastime's unparalleled creative possibilities."[1] The Reliquary was founded in 1996 in Monrovia, California and is funded in part by a grant from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.[2]

The Reliquary organizes and presents artistic and historical exhibitions relating to baseball each year. Throughout its two-decade history, the Reliquary has held exhibitions on varied topics relating to the cultural impact of baseball, including: "Legacies: Baseball from Flatbush to the City of Angels," a variety of artistic interpretations of the 1958 move of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles (2004);[3] the photographic exhibition "Another Trip in Baseball's Time Machine: Photography at the Field of Dreams," highlighting the relationship between photography and baseball (2013);[4] and "A Swinging Centennial: Jackie Robinson at 100," a musical event that featured a performance of "Stealin' Home," Bobby Bradford's tribute to Jackie Robinson, commissioned by the Reliquary (2019).[5] Since 1999, the Reliquary has maintained an "alternate hall-of-fame" called the Shrine of the Eternals and presented other baseball-related awards annually.[6]

History and Mission

The Baseball Reliquary is a nonprofit educational institution that is "dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history and to exploring the national pastime's unparalleled creative possibilities."[7] The Reliquary was founded in 1996 by Terry Cannon, a creative artist and assistant school librarian who describes himself as "meek and mild-mannered [on the outside] ... a rabble-rouser and non-conformist [at heart]." In its early years, the Reliquary had no physical home; instead it collaborated with local institutions including public and university libraries and the Jackie Robinson Center.[8]

Beginning in 1999, the Reliquary created a hall-of-fame style historical commemoration of baseball notables called the Shrine of the Eternals. Rather than focusing on statistical accomplishments as does the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, the Shrine "seek[s] out aspects of this history that have been overlooked or have not been explored in depth as well as players and others in baseball who have had unconventional careers." [8] The Reliquary and its Shrine have been described as "a haven for legends like Marvin Miller and Spaceman Lee, umpires like Emmett Ashford and Pam Postema ... mostly renegades who did not meet the precise standards of the [National] Baseball Hall of Fame."[9] Some view the Shrine of the Eternals as a more welcome recognition of their contributions to baseball than even the Hall of Fame.[10]

The Reliquary has recognized three inductees each year since the Shrine's inception. Members of the Reliquary receive a ballot of 50 candidates for the Shrine each year, and the top three vote-getters by percentage are installed. As of the 2019 Shrine election, there were more than 300 voting members.[11]

In 2001, the Reliquary began recognizing "distinguished service by a baseball fan" with the Hilda Award, named for famed Brooklyn Dodgers fan Hilda Chester. In 2002, the Tony Salin Memorial Award was established "to honor individuals for their work in preserving baseball history." Each of these honors is awarded annually.[12]

In 2013, documentary filmmaker Jon Leonoudakis released a 69 minute film about the Reliquary titled, "Not Exactly Cooperstown."[13] The film premiered at the 8th Annual Baseball Film Festival at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown on 29 September 2013.[14] The film was also featured at the St. Louis International Film Festival in November 2014.[15]

In January 2015, the Reliquary found a permanent home for its collections and events with the opening of the Institute for Baseball Studies at Whittier College in Whittier, California. Housed on the third floor of the College's Mendenhall building, the Institute is open to students and the public for research and viewing of the Reliquary's growing collection.[16]

Shrine of the Eternals

Since 1999, members of the Baseball Reliquary have elected three individuals annually to their "Shrine of the Eternals." The Shrine is similar in concept to the annual elections held at the Baseball Hall of Fame, but differs philosophically in that statistical accomplishment is not a criterion for election. Rather, the Shrine's annual ballot is composed of individuals - from the obscure to the well known - who have altered the baseball world in ways that supersede statistics.[1] The definition of "individuals" is not restricted to humans; the 2017 induction class included the Peanuts character Charlie Brown.[17]

The Baseball Reliquary lists the criteria for election to the Shrine of the Eternals as:[1]

  • the distinctiveness of play (good or bad)
  • the uniqueness of character and personality
  • the imprint that the individual has made upon the baseball landscape

Inductees (as of 2020)

The Hilda Award

Named in memory of legendary Brooklyn Dodgers baseball fan Hilda Chester, the Hilda Award recognizes distinguished service by a baseball fan. The award is an old cowbell, Hilda Chester's signature noisemaker. The Hilda is awarded annually, on the Shrine of the Eternals Induction Day.[2]

Recipients (as of 2019)

Tony Salin Memorial Award

In 2002, the Reliquary established the Tony Salin Memorial Award, after the baseball historian and researcher of that name, to honor individuals for their work in preserving baseball history.[2]

Recipients (as of 2019)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Robert Santelli & Jenna Santelli (2010). The Baseball Fan's Bucket List: 162 Things You Must Do, See, Get, and Experience Before You Die. Running Press. p. 216. ISBN 9780762440313. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Josh Pahigian (2015). 101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 176-178. ISBN 9781493016471. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "Legacies: Baseball from Flatbush to the City of Angels". The Baseball Reliquary. The Baseball Reliquary. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ "Another Trip in Baseball's Time Machine: Photography at the Field of Dreams". The Baseball Reliquary. The Baseball Reliquary. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ Smith, R.J. (25 September 2019). "Jazz great Bobby Bradford pays tribute to Jackie Robinson". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ "Events" Baseball Reliquary website
  7. ^ "About". The Baseball Reliquary. The Baseball Reliquary. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ a b Ardell, Jean Hastings (2009). "The Baseball Reliquary: The Left Coast's Alternative to Interpreting Baseball History". In Simons, William M. (ed.). Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and the American Culture, 2007-2008. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. pp. 23-24. ISBN 978-0-7864-3569-2.
  9. ^ Vecsey, George (18 July 2009). "A Hall of Fame for a Legendary Fastball Pitcher". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ a b Krouse, Peter (14 December 2019). "Marvin Miller balked at the Baseball Hall of Fame, but not the Shrine of the Eternals". Cleveland.com. Cleveland.com. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ Alexander, Jim (12 July 2019). "Baseball Reliquary is the People's Hall of Fame". Los Angeles Daily News. MediaNews Group, Inc. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d "The Shrine of the Eternals Induction Ceremony, July 2019" Baseball Reliquary website
  13. ^ "Not Exactly Cooperstown". Internet Movie Database. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ "2013 Film Festival". National Baseball Hall of Fame. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ "The 23rd Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival" (PDF). Cinema St. Louis. Cinema St. Louis. p. 65. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ Molina, Sandra T. (16 January 2015). "Play ball! The Institute for Baseball Studies at Whittier College opens". Whittier Daily News. MediaNews Group, Inc. Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ Cannon, Terry (July 16, 2017). "Shrine of the Eternals Induction Day: July 16, 2017". Baseball Reliquary. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ "Shrine of the Eternals (Alphabetical List of Inductees)" Baseball Reliquary website
  19. ^ "Hilda Award Recipients" Baseball Reliquary website
  20. ^ "Tony Salin Memorial Award Recipients" Baseball Reliquary website

External links


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