Charlie Brown Finally Hits One Out

Baseball Reliquary 2017 Shrine of the Eternals CeremonyBaseball Reliquary 2017 Shrine of the Eternals Ceremony

By EDDIE RIVERA, Community Editor

5:30 am | July 17, 2017

Legendary American baseball player and pitcher Charles “Charlie” Brown (2-930) was inducted Sunday into the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals at Pasadena Central Library. The late Brown, whose remarkably dismal career earned him and his teammates — Lucy and Linus Van Pelt, the singularly named “Pig-Pen,” and beagle Snoopy — worldwide fame and recognition, was created by cartoonist Charles Schulz in 1950, as a kind of sports everyman, whose futile efforts spoke to an international audience.

The Baseball Reliquary, an “anti-hall of fame” for baseball lovers, created by founder and Pasadena Assistant Librarian Terry Cannon, honors and celebrates the little-known and arcane in baseball. According to its website, the nonprofit, educational organization 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.”

Supported, in part, by a grant from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the organization’s vast collection of baseball-abilia is currently housed in a permanent exhibit at Whittier College. Its Shrine of the Eternals honors those members of the sport who brought unique fame and notoriety, and sometimes, great dignity, to the game.

Three individuals are selected each year to the group’s Shrine of the Eternals, on the basis of “overall contributions to, and impact made on, baseball.”

According to founder Cannon, the selections “offer the opportunity for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the national pastime than is provided by ‘halls of fame’ in the more traditional and conservative institutions.”

The organization also honored former Atlanta Brave catcher and now-broadcaster Bob Uecker, and legendary Dodger announcer Vin Scully, who retired from the broadcast booth last year.

Among the numerous awards handed out on Sunday, its 2017 Hilda award—named for Brooklyn Dodger fan Hilda Chester—was given to Cam Perron, who as a young boy growing up in the suburbs of Boston, gave new life and depth to the history of the American Negro Baseball League. Beginning at the age of 12, Perron researched and befriended forgotten members of the league, and helped them gain long-deserved recognition for their efforts.

The Tony Sallin Memorial Award was given to Dr. Richard Santillan, an educator and sports fan who specialized in the history of Latino baseball in Southern California, especially the early East LA and Boyle Heights leagues.

Writer and keynote speaker Dave Mesrey, a Detroit native, told an emotional tale of his love for his hometown Tigers and their stadium. Mesrey worked tirelessly with a small group of fans to maintain the last remnants of the team’s historic ballpark, before it was finally demolished. His remembrance of Tiger pitcher and former Rookie of the Year Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, was bittersweet and heartbreaking.

Former Dodger Jay Johnstone accepted the award for Uecker, who was busy working as the voice of the Milwaukee Brewers, and unable to attend the ceremony.

Sportswriter and educator Lisa Nehus Saxon accepted the award for Scully, and reminisced about her deep love and friendship with the legendary announcer, from her early days as one of the first few female major league sports writers, to Sunday mornings at her neighborhood church with Scully and his wife.