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The BASEBALL RELIQUARY Inc.


SHRINE OF THE ETERNALS:
2007 INDUCTION DAY

Sunday, July 22, 2007 ~ 2:00 PM

Donald R. Wright Auditorium, Pasadena Central Library
285 East Walnut Street
, Pasadena, California
Free Admission / Information (626) 791-7647

            The Baseball Reliquary will present the 2007 Induction Day ceremony for its ninth class of electees to the Shrine of the Eternals on Sunday, July 22, 2007, beginning at 2:00 PM, at the Donald R. Wright Auditorium in the Pasadena Central Library, 285 East Walnut Street, Pasadena, California. The doors will open at 1:30 PM, and admission is open to the public and free of charge. The inductees will be Yogi Berra, Jim Brosnan, and Bill James. The keynote address will be delivered by Tomas Benitez. In addition, the Baseball Reliquary will honor the recipients of the 2007 Hilda Award, Cass Sapir, and the 2007 Tony Salin Memorial Award, Mark Rucker.
            The festivities will commence with an Induction Day tradition, the ceremonial bell ringing in honor of the late Brooklyn Dodgers fan Hilda Chester; everyone who attends is encouraged to bring a bell to ring for the occasion. The National Anthem and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” will be performed on the ukulele by multi-instrumentalist Don Kirby.
            For further information, contact the Baseball Reliquary by phone at (626) 791-7647 or by e-mail at terymar@earthlink.net. The 2007 Induction Day is co-sponsored by the Pasadena Public Library and is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. 

2007 INDUCTEES

            The highest honor afforded an individual by the Baseball Reliquary is election to the Shrine of the Eternals. Three individuals are elected on an annual basis in voting conducted by the membership of the Reliquary. Similar in concept to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Shrine of the Eternals differs philosophically in that statistical accomplishment is not a criterion for election; the Shrine, rather, honors individuals who have impacted the baseball landscape in ways that do not necessarily have anything to do with numbers. The 2007 electees, a class which has made significant contributions to the language and literature of baseball, will join previous inductees Jim Abbott, Dick Allen, Moe Berg, Ila Borders, Jim Bouton, Roberto Clemente, Rod Dedeaux, Dock Ellis, Mark Fidrych, Curt Flood, Josh Gibson, William “Dummy” Hoy, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Marvin Miller, Minnie Minoso, Satchel Paige, Jimmy Piersall, Pam Postema, Jackie Robinson, Lester Rodney, Fernando Valenzuela, Bill Veeck Jr., and Kenichi Zenimura.
            The master of the malapropism and one of the most popular figures in baseball history, LAWRENCE PETER “YOGI” BERRA played 19 seasons in the major leagues (1946-1965), all but four games of it with the New York Yankees, and later went on to both coach and manage. One of only a few catchers to ever field 1.000 in a season (1958), Berra was acknowledged as a master at handling a pitching staff and was behind the plate for Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Berra was also a feared slugger and one of the greatest clutch hitters of all time, with 358 career home runs and five 100-plus RBI seasons. But it was his unique persona that transcended the game. Berra endeared himself to millions of Americans, not just baseball fans, and graciously absorbed their affectionate teasing for his mangled phrases and colorful expressions that became known as “Yogi-isms.” When his career was over, Berra played on a record ten World Series champions and in an unmatched 14 World Series.
            Yogi Berra is unable to attend the ceremony due to a previous charity commitment. His induction will be accepted by CHARLIE SILVERA, who spent nine years with the Yankees as a backup catcher, playing in the shadow of Yogi Berra but at the same time garnering six championship rings. Silvera, who went on to coach and scout for several major league teams (he still works as a scout for the Chicago Cubs), has graciously agreed to stand in for Berra once again and to tell a few anecdotes about his illustrious former teammate.
            Nicknamed “The Professor” by his peers, the spectacled and scholarly JIM BROSNAN was not only a consistent relief pitcher during his nine-year major league career (1954-1963), but also the author of two best-selling autobiographies that traded not on the lascivious or outrageous but on the simple daily grind – the camaraderie, humor, surprises, and disappointments – of life in the big leagues. His 1960 book, The Long Season, a diary of Brosnan’s 1959 season with the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, took readers inside the world of the professional ballplayer in ways that had never occurred before. The Long Season didn’t rely on sex, drugs, and bad behavior to sell (euphemisms, anonymity, and decorum prevailed throughout), but rather on the quick wit, irreverent appeal, and keen observances of Brosnan, a constant reader and self-proclaimed bibliophile. The book received raves from the public and sportswriters, though some ballplayers were not as generous and saw the book as a betrayal of fraternal rules. Brosnan never viewed the book as a betrayal; he simply wrote the human side of what he saw. After his 1959 trade to Cincinnati, Brosnan teamed up with lefty Bill Henry to create one of the most lethal one-two punches in bullpen history. He also found time to write another book, Pennant Race, a diary of the 1961 season in which the Reds won the National League flag. Brosnan retired in 1963 with a record of 55-47 and 67 saves (figured retroactively) and has continued to write newspaper and magazine articles along with baseball books for young readers.
            Jim Brosnan is unable to attend the ceremony due to health reasons. His induction will be accepted by longtime Sports Illustrated contributor and former Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist, JOHN SCHULIAN. Schulian’s widely anthologized work has been included in many sports books, and his recently published Twilight of the Long-ball Gods: Dispatches from the Disappearing Heart of Baseball reaffirmed his status as one of the finest sportswriters of our time.
            An author, historian, and statistics analyst, Kansas native BILL JAMES has been one of the most influential figures in baseball since he turned his inquisitive sights on the game in the mid-1970s. Using his annual Baseball Abstracts to question conventional wisdom, he developed his own analytical tools (Runs Created, Win Shares, Pythagorean Winning Percentage, et al.) with which he tweaked the nose of the major league establishment and revolutionized the way fans, the media, and baseball insiders think about the game. The corn-fed clarity of his writing style, combined with an acerbic wit and careful presentation of data in the Abstracts and subsequent books, made James the most widely read and imitated apostle of sabermetrics, the search for objective knowledge about baseball (after SABR, the acronym for the Society for American Baseball Research). James’ knowledge of the game also made him a valuable asset for players and agents, some of whom hired him to assist in arbitration battles with management. Since 2003, James has been employed by the Boston Red Sox as Senior Baseball Operations Advisor, giving him a chance to put some of his theories into practice. In addition, since 2006, James’ life and ideas have been chronicled in two books, The Mind of Bill James: How a Complete Outsider Changed Baseball, written by Scott Gray and published by Doubleday, and How Bill James Changed Our View of Baseball, edited by Gregory F. Augustine Pierce and published by ACTA Sports.
            Bill James will be in attendance to personally accept his induction, and he will be introduced by RICH LEDERER, a Southern California native and a major contributor to the Baseball Analysts Web site, which utilizes a sabermetric approach in examining college, minor league, and major league players and teams. 

KEYNOTE ADDRESS AND AWARDS 

            The keynote address for the 2007 Induction Day will be presented by TOMAS J. BENITEZ, who has been an artist and arts administrator for over 25 years. He has contributed immensely to numerous Los Angeles community-based organizations, including serving as Executive Director of Self-Help Graphics and Art and currently as Development Director for Plaza de la Raza. Also a baseball fan and scholar, Benitez has worked closely with the Baseball Reliquary as an advisor on the highly successful and multi-faceted project, Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues.
            The ceremony will also feature the presentation of the 2007 Hilda Award, named in memory of the beloved Brooklyn Dodgers fan Hilda Chester and given annually to a fan for his/her extraordinary passion for and dedication to baseball. This year’s recipient is CASS SAPIR, who traveled to 189 minor league and major league stadiums in 157 days during the 2006 baseball season, an odyssey which saw him raise $25,000, and generate enormous publicity, for the Jimmy Fund, a Boston-based charity that raises funds for cancer research.
            Another highlight of the ceremony will be the presentation of the 2007 Tony Salin Memorial Award, named for the late baseball author and researcher, which annually honors one individual for his/her dedication to preserving baseball history. This year’s recipient is MARK RUCKER, prominent baseball photo archivist and founder and president of the Boulder, Colorado-based Transcendental Graphics, an historical photo agency which, in Rucker’s words, “aims to preserve the strange and marvelous” and “has successfully distracted all who know him from his true life’s work.” Rucker has provided baseball images of all kinds to countless books and projects, including Ken Burns’ multi-part film series Baseball and ESPN documentaries.    


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