Shrine of the Eternals Class of 2018

Tommy John

Rusty Staub

Nancy Faust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On May 4, 2018, the Board of Directors of the Baseball Reliquary announced the 20th class of electees to the Shrine of the Eternals. The Shrine of the Eternals is the national organization’s equivalent to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Tommy John, Rusty Staub, and Nancy Faust were elected upon receiving the highest number of votes in balloting conducted during the month of April 2018 by the membership of the Baseball Reliquary. The three electees will be formally inducted into the Shrine of the Eternals in a public ceremony on Sunday, July 22, 2018 at the Donald R. Wright Auditorium in the Pasadena Central Library, Pasadena, California.

Of the fifty eligible candidates on the 2018 ballot, Tommy John received the highest voting percentage, being named on 44% of the ballots returned. Following John were Rusty Staub with 29% and Nancy Faust with 26.5%. Runners-up in this year’s election included Bob Costas (25.5%), Leo Durocher (25%), Effa  Manley (25%), J.R. Richard (25%), John Young (24%), and Denny McLain (23.5%). Voting percentages for all fifty candidates appear at the end of this announcement.

Tommy John

Elected to the Shrine of the Eternals in his first year on the ballot, TOMMY JOHN, born in 1943, won 288 games over a 26-year career, notched 20 victories in a season three times, appeared in three World Series, was named to four All-Star teams, finished in the top eight for the Cy Young Award four times, and – through his courageous example – is responsible for a surgical procedure that has now prolonged the careers of countless pitchers and position players. (In fact, without the injury and subsequent surgery that now bears his name, the southpaw would easily have won 300 games.) In 1974, while with the Los Angeles Dodgers, John tore away the ligament from the elbow of his pitching arm and was told he would never pitch again. However, Dodgers physician Dr. Frank Jobe (who was previously inducted into the Shrine of the Eternals in 2012) convinced him that a new type of surgery – one that used ligament from another part of the body to replace the damaged elbow ligament – was his only option. Jobe’s procedure worked, and after a protracted recovery period John was able to return to the mound and resume his career by 1976. He pitched the best baseball of his career in the years immediately following, winning 20 games in three of the four seasons between 1977 and 1980. The man from Terre Haute debuted at age 20 with the 1963 Indians, came into his own with the White Sox, anchored the Dodgers staff for six seasons, then continued to dominate while with the Yankees. He kicked around with the California Angels and Oakland Athletics before returning to the Yanks at the end of his career. He retired in 1989 at the age of 46(!), one of the game’s great gentlemen and players of faith. Once-revolutionary, Tommy John Surgery, as it is now unofficially known, has been performed so often that today it’s considered a routine procedure.

Rusty Staub

Elected to the Shrine of the Eternals in his 13th year on the ballot, DANIEL JOSEPH STAUB (1944-2018) is known to the world at large as Rusty, thanks to his shock of red hair. He signed with the expansion Houston Colt .45s and debuted as a 19-year-old rookie in 1963. Within a few seasons, his perfect left-handed swing made him an All-Star and one of the most deadly hitters in the National League. Traded to the Montreal Expos before the 1969 season, he swiftly became one of the most popular players in that franchise’s history. The French-Canadian Expos fans called him “Le Grand Orange” and embraced him as one of their own. He starred with the Mets in the early 1970s, leading the team to a World Series appearance in 1973. He later moved on to DH in the American League with the Tigers and Rangers before finishing his career with the Expos and Mets. When he retired after the 1985 season, Staub had played for 23 years (1963-1985) and is the only player in baseball history to have 500 hits with four different teams. Given such a successful career, most men would be content to kick back and play golf for the remainder of their days. Not Staub. He had threatened earlier to leave baseball and turn his talents to the art of cooking. After retiring, he made good on his haute cuisine pledge, opening a successful restaurant in New York. He also worked as a broadcaster for the Mets. Deeply motivated by humanitarian causes, Staub established the New York Police and Fire Widow’s and Children’s Benefit Fund Foundation in 1986. The Foundation has raised over $150 million for families of policemen, firefighters, emergency service, and port authority officers killed in the line of duty. He also established The Rusty Staub Foundation, which has raised over $17 million since 1985, and, in collaboration with Catholic Charities, supports emergency pantries that serve more than 800,000 meals per year. Recognizing his charity work, Niagara University awarded Staub an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in 2004. Staub died of a heart attack on March 29, 2018 at age 73.

Nancy Faust

Elected to the Shrine of the Eternals in her fourth year on the ballot, NANCY FAUST, born in 1947, is, without question, the most famous ballpark organist of the past half-century, during which time she entertained the faithful on Chicago’s South Side between 1970 and 2010. A Chicago native, Faust began playing the organ as a tot, instructed by her mother, a professional musician. While in high school and college, she would frequently fill in for her mom at gigs. After earning a degree in psychology, Faust supported herself by playing at sporting events before, she thought, embarking on a real career. That plan didn’t quite work out. When the White Sox went looking for a successor to previous organist Bob Creed, Faust was hired almost on the spot because Stu Holcomb, Sox business manager, had heard her play at a banquet and was mightily impressed. So at the tender age of 23, Faust began serenading fans at Comiskey Park. She was an instant hit. Supplementing the traditional organ repertoire with pop and rock themes, and linking snippets from television ads and pop songs to specific players, Faust swiftly became a legend. It was her version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” that moved then-Sox announcer Harry Caray to begin leading the fans in a rollicking version of the song, an act that would later make him famous after moving to the Cubs. Perhaps her greatest contribution to sports history took place in 1977 when, after the South Side Hitmen had demolished an opponent, she first played “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” a 1969 tune by an ensemble called Steam. During her long tenure as organist for the White Sox, Faust missed only five scheduled dates, due to the birth of her son. She also played for the Chicago Bulls in the NBA and the Blackhawks in the NHL. While most ballpark organs have now been replaced in favor of pre-recorded music, Faust reminds us of a time when organists were as important a part of the ballpark experience as players, vendors, and rhubarbs.

Tommy John, Rusty Staub, and Nancy Faust will join 57 other baseball luminaries who have been inducted into the Shrine of the Eternals since elections began in 1999, including, in alphabetical order: Jim Abbott, Dick Allen, Roger Angell, Emmett Ashford, Moe Berg, Sy Berger, Yogi Berra, Steve Bilko, Ila Borders, Jim Bouton, Jim Brosnan, Charlie Brown, Bill Buckner, Glenn Burke, Roberto Clemente, Steve Dalkowski, Dizzy Dean, Rod Dedeaux, Jim Eisenreich, Dock Ellis, Eddie Feigner, Mark Fidrych, Curt Flood, Ted Giannoulas, Josh Gibson, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Pete Gray, Arnold Hano, William “Dummy” Hoy, Bo Jackson, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Bill James, Dr. Frank Jobe, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Roger Maris, Marvin Miller, Minnie Minoso, Manny Mota, Don Newcombe, Lefty O’Doul, Buck O’Neil, Satchel Paige, Jimmy Piersall, Pam Postema, Jackie Robinson, Rachel Robinson, Lester Rodney, Pete Rose, Vin Scully, Casey Stengel, Luis Tiant, Bob Uecker, Fernando Valenzuela, Bill Veeck Jr., Maury Wills, Kenichi Zenimura, and Don Zimmer.

THE SHRINE OF THE ETERNALS: 2018 VOTING PERCENTAGES

  • Tommy John – 44%
  • Rusty Staub – 29%
  • Nancy Faust – 26.5%
  • Bob Costas – 25.5%
  • Leo Durocher – 25%
  • Effa Manley – 25%
  • J.R. Richard – 25%
  • John Young – 24%
  • Denny McLain – 23.5%
  • Chet Brewer – 22.5%
  • Fred Merkle – 21%
  • Lisa Fernandez – 20%
  • Rube Foster – 20%
  • Bill White – 20%
  • Charles M. Conlon – 19.5%
  • Mamie Johnson – 19.5%
  • Octavius V. Catto – 18%
  • Pete Reiser – 18%
  • Jim Thorpe – 18%
  • Rube Waddell – 18%
  • Dr. Mike Marshall – 17.5%
  • John Thorn – 17.5%
  • Mike Veeck – 17.5%
  • Rocky Colavito – 16%
  • Ernie Harwell – 16%
  • Hideo Nomo – 16%
  • Bing Russell – 15.5%
  • Janet Marie Smith – 15.5%
  • Tug McGraw – 14.5%
  • Vic Power – 14.5%
  • Charlie Finley – 14%
  • Joe Pepitone – 14%
  • Shorty Perez – 14%
  • Charley Pride – 14%
  • Luke Easter – 13%
  • Ted Kluszewski – 13%
  • Dave Parker – 13%
  • Phil Pote – 13%
  • Annie Savoy – 13%
  • Chris Von der Ahe – 13%
  • Kurt Bevacqua – 12.5%
  • Bert Campaneris – 12.5%
  • Masanori Murakami – 12.5%
  • Mo’ne Davis – 11.5%
  • Doris Sams – 11.5%
  • Oscar Gamble – 8%
  • Jim Creighton – 4.5%
  • Lenny Randle – 3.5%
  • George Stovey – 3%
  • Adolfo Phillips – 0.5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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