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Shrine of Eternals ballot announced
2008-01-28 11:40
by Bob Timmermann

The Baseball Reliquary has come out with its ballot to choose members of its Shrine of Immortals. Here is info on the new candidates on the ballot:

Among the fifty eligible candidates for 2008, eleven individuals appear on the Shrine of the Eternals ballot for the first time. The newcomers, in alphabetical order, are: 

CHARLIE BROWNstocky, round-headed kid pitcher mentored by the late Charles Schulz, known as much for his perennial optimism as for his complete lack of talent; has yielded more hard line drives up the middle than any other pitcher in baseball history.

JIM EISENREICH – a courageous outfielder whose big league career was temporarily derailed by the neurological disorder known as Tourette Syndrome, Eisenreich returned to the majors after undergoing several years of testing and treatment, appearing in World Series with the ’93 Phillies and ’97 Marlins; he continues to make an impact today with his foundation which helps children with Tourette Syndrome achieve personal success.

SUSAN FORNOFF – the Oakland A’s beat reporter for the Sacramento Bee from 1985-1991, Fornoff fought for equality for women in both the locker room and the newsroom while being subjected to much harassment and abuse, including a live rat sent to her as a prank by A’s numskull Dave Kingman; Fornoff co-founded the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) to combat discrimination and promote equal opportunities for women sports journalists.

CHARLES “POP” KELCHNER – a legendary baseball scout for fifty years (1909-1958), Kelchner discovered or recommended over fifty major league players; as a Professor of Foreign Languages at Pennsylvania’s Albright College, he was fluent in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Latin, giving Moe Berg a run for his money as the most erudite member of the baseball profession.

MIKE “KING” KELLY – the most flamboyant ballplayer of the 19th century, and baseball’s first inarguable supernova, the hard-living, quick-witted King Kelly was the cynosure of the sporting demimonde and a pop culture phenom who, made legend by his early death, set standards that even the flashiest superstar of subsequent decades could not emulate.

ANDREW LAMPERT – creator and commissioner of the Cosmic Baseball Association, a brilliant confection of baseball, art, and science whipped to a forth with great wit and intelligence; Lampert’s CBA has been a cyberspace sweet spot since the early days of the World Wide Web and an important, if unacknowledged, stimulant for the Baseball Reliquary’s higher cognitive functions for over a decade.

DAVID MELLOR – A professional baseball groundskeeper for over twenty years, currently at Boston’s Fenway Park, Mellor specializes in creating elaborate patterns and designs in grass that are, by his own admission, limited only by one’s imagination; the acknowledged guru of the turf-obsessed, Mellor has authored a book on mowing techniques for sports landscapes, and photos of his baseball field patterns are exhibited in art galleries and museums.

MANNY MOTA – a member of several great offensive NL teams of the 1960s, the effervescent Mota was a man without a position until he settled into the role of clutch, record-breaking pinch-hitter with the Dodgers in the 1970s; etched forever into the collective memory of Los Angeles fans, Manny continues to be a highly visible presence in the Big Blue world.

BUCK O’NEIL – infectiously exuberant former Negro League star, major league scout, and baseball ambassador, the late O’Neil gained notoriety as the first black coach in big league ball and captivated a huge audience late in life as the star commentator in Ken Burns’ PBS documentary, Baseball.

GEORGE SOSNAK – Once an amateur and minor league umpire, Sosnak is renowned for his hand-painted baseballs, which commemorate historic milestones and player achievements through detailed India ink drawings and written descriptions covering every inch of the ball’s surface; while many of the 800 baseballs he painted between 1956 and his death in 1992 were presented as gifts to his subjects, they are now expensive and highly sought after works of baseball folk art.

WALLY YONAMINE – Often called the “Nisei Jackie Robinson,” the Hawaiian-born Yonamine was the first American to play professional baseball in Japan after World War II, valiantly overcoming the prejudice he faced as a foreigner and for his aggressive style of play; his perseverance (he played eleven years in Japan and coached and managed for another twenty-six years) helped open the doors for future American players in that country.

A complete list of all fifty candidates for the 2008 election of the Shrine of the Eternals follows. Election packets, containing ballots and biographical profiles of all candidates, will be mailed to Baseball Reliquary members on April 1, 2008. To be eligible to vote, all persons must have their minimum $25.00 annual membership dues paid as of March 31, 2008.

The three new inductees will be announced in May, with the Induction Day ceremony scheduled for Sunday, July 20, 2008 in Pasadena, California. In addition to the presentation of plaques to the 2008 inductees, this year’s ceremony will honor the recipients of the 2008 Hilda Award (named in memory of Hilda Chester and acknowledging a baseball fan’s exceptional devotion to the game) and the 2008 Tony Salin Memorial Award (presented annually to an individual dedicated to the preservation of baseball history).

For additional information on the Shrine of the Eternals, contact Terry Cannon, Executive Director of the Baseball Reliquary, at P.O. Box 1850, Monrovia, CA 91017; by phone at (626) 791-7647; or by e-mail at

2008-01-28 17:37:09
1.   grandcosmo
I'm with them on everyone except David Mellor.
2008-01-28 21:30:18
2.   Jason in Canada
That bio failed to mention that Jim Eisenreich had something like a .865 batting average against the Dodgers.
2008-01-30 15:49:09
3.   grandcosmo
2 .405

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