The Baseball Reliquary recently announced the three 2009 inductees for the Shrine of the Eternals, and if you’re a little fuzzy on just what all that means, you can be forgiven.
Steve Dalkowski, Jim Eisenreich and Roger Maris are joining a really cool group that includes the likes of Dick Allen (at left), Moe Berg, Jim Bouton, Dummy Hoy, Dock Ellis, Bill James, Bill Lee, Marvin Miller and a couple of dozen others as members of a truly elite club that Reliquary officials describe as “the national organization’s equivalent to the Baseball Hall of Fame.”
I kinda admire the organization’s insistence on nomenclature that at once elevates and at the same time probably ensures a certain amount of obscurity. For those scoring at home, “reliquary” means “container of holy relics,” and I gotta admit, earlier Shrine of the Eternals inductees like Jimmy Piersall, Fernando Valenzuela and Buck O’Neil certainly qualify on that count.
One is tempted to say that the Shrine is designed for people who made a significant contribution to baseball history but may not have cleared all the Cooperstown hurdles, but no, there are several guys in both: Yogi Berra, Roberto Clemente, Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Jackie Robinson and Bill Veeck Jr.
So in reality, it’s just a neat idea for hard-core baseball fans to take note of important figures in the game’s history, who in this instance, will be inducted into the Shrine in a public ceremony on Sunday, July 19 at the Pasadena Central Library in Pasadena, Calif.
I’ll offer a word or two about the enshrinees in tomorrow’s blog.