The Baseball Reliquary Presents Shrine of the Eternals 2013 Induction Day

Published : Wednesday, July 10, 2013 | 11:59 AM

L-R: Lefty O'Doul, Manny Mota and Eddie Feigner. Photo by The Baseball Reliquary

Dave Zirin

The Baseball Reliquary will present the 2013 Induction Day ceremony for its fifteenth class of electees to the Shrine of the Eternals on Sunday, July 21, 2013, beginning at 2:00 p.m., at the Donald R. Wright Auditorium in the Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena.

Admission is open to the public and free of charge. Please note that seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once seating capacity has been reached, we will have to turn people away at the door. We encourage attendees to arrive no later than 1:30 p.m. when the auditorium doors open. The inductees will be Lefty O’Doul, Eddie Feigner, and Manny Mota. The keynote address will be delivered by Dave Zirin. In addition, the Baseball Reliquary will honor the recipients of the 2013 Hilda Award, Emma Amaya, and the 2013 Tony Salin Memorial Award, Steve Bandura.

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.

For further information, contact the Baseball Reliquary by phone at (626) 791-7647 or by e-mail at terymar@earthlink.net. The 2013 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.

Following is a brief overview of the day’s activities:

Queen Anne Marie and Eddie Feigner. Photo by The Baseball Reliquary

The National Anthem and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” will be performed by Joe Price, Professor of Religious Studies at Whittier College and a longtime Reliquarian. In the past 30 years, Price has sung the National Anthem for more than 30 Major League games in 20 ballparks throughout the country, including six times at both Dodger Stadium and The Big A. In 2011, Price spent five months during his sabbatical leave singing the anthem on a national tour of 104 Minor League ballparks in 40 states.

The musical segment will be followed by the presentation of the 2013 Hilda Award to Emma Amaya. The Hilda Award, established in memory of legendary Brooklyn Dodgers fan Hilda Chester, recognizes distinguished service to the game by a baseball fan. Born in Honduras, Amaya has been an avid Los Angeles Dodgers fan since 1979 and a season ticket holder since 1981. In recent years, she has attended most Dodger home games and some on the road. During the 2012 season, for instance, she went to every Dodger home game with the exception of four that she missed while attending the national convention of the Society for American Baseball Research in Minnesota. What’s really challenging is that she has been able to attend all of these games while maintaining a full-time job as a senior programmer for a manufacturing company. A strong believer that baseball should be fun, Amaya has occasionally been seen at Dodger Stadium dressed up as Hilda Chester, and is well known by many fans and employees at Chavez Ravine, in addition to a number of current and former Dodger players. She also shares her addiction to the Dodgers and baseball, and her love of Dodger Stadium, which she proudly refers to as “Our Lady of Chavez Ravine,” through her blog, http://crzblue.mlblogs.
com/
.

The 2013 Tony Salin Memorial Award will be presented to Steve Bandura. The Tony Salin Memorial Award, named in memory of the late baseball historian and author, was established to recognize individuals for their commitment to the preservation of baseball history. The recreation director at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center in South Philadelphia, Bandura coaches the Anderson Monarchs little league baseball team. In 2012, in honor of the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s breaking of the color line, Bandura rented a 1947 tour bus and took the team, comprised of fifteen 10- and 11-year-olds, on a 22-day, 4,000-mile barnstorming tour in the tradition of the old Negro League teams. The once-in-a-lifetime trip began with a visit to Jackie Robinson’s gravesite in Brooklyn, and included stops in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City, and other cities. Along the way, the Monarchs played 17 games against local little league teams, and the youngsters got to visit historic baseball sites, meet surviving players from the Negro Leagues, and learn much about the legacy of African American baseball in the years before the game’s integration. Of his young players, Bandura has said, “They are solely responsible for shattering stereotypes and breaking down barriers wherever they compete. They show the world what can be accomplished when inner city kids are given opportunies to succeed.”

Following the award presentations, the 2013 keynote address will be delivered by Dave Zirin, one of the most original voices to emerge from the field of sportswriting in recent years. Named one of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,” Zirin writes about the politics of sports for The Nation, and is the first sportswriter in the magazine’s nearly 150 years of existence. Winner of Sport in Society and Northeastern University School of Journalism’s 2011 “Excellence in Sports Journalism” Award, he hosts Sirius XM Radio’s popular weekly show, Edge of Sports Radio. Also a columnist for The Progressive and SLAM Magazine, Zirin has been hailed as “the conscience of American sportswriting” by The Washington Post and “the best sportswriter in the United States” by Robert Lipsyte. Zirin’s books, including the recent Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down, demonstrate his strong commitment to social justice. He has brought his blend of sports and politics to many television and radio programs, including ESPN’s Outside the Lines and National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

The keynote address will be followed by the formal induction of the 2013 class of electees to the Baseball Reliquary. Born and raised in San Francisco, Francis “Lefty” O’Doul (1897-1969) became one of the greatest sports legends in that city’s history. Lionized as one of the greatest managers in minor league history, O’Doul started his baseball career in the Pacific Coast League with the hometown San Francisco Seals, and enjoyed minor success as a relief pitcher with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in the early 1920s. Switching to the outfield after developing a sore arm, O’Doul won batting championships in Philadelphia in 1929 (where he paced the National League with 254 hits and a lusty .398 average) and Brooklyn in 1932. Returning to San Francisco, he was hired to manage the PCL Seals in 1935, just in time to tutor a young phenom named Joe DiMaggio in the finer points of the game. He managed the Seals through 1951, winning five championships, including an impressive skein of four-in-a-row from 1943 to 1946. He continued managing with other franchises in the PCL until his retirement in 1957. Recognized as a key figure in the development of professional baseball in Japan, O’Doul visited the country on goodwill baseball tours throughout the 1930s, leading instructional sessions, touring with American teams, and organizing reciprocal visits to the U.S. by Japanese players. In 2002 he was elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in recognition for his promotion of the sport. Shortly after retiring from managing, he embarked at age 60 on a new career as a restaurateur, opening and operating Lefty O’Doul’s, a legendary San Francisco watering hole and just possibly the very first sports bar in America.

Lefty O’Doul’s induction will be accepted by his cousin, Tom O’Doul, on behalf of the O’Doul Family. Lefty will be introduced by author, filmmaker, and historian Kerry Yo Nakagawa. A former recipient of the Baseball Reliquary’s Tony Salin Memorial Award (2006), Nakagawa has, for the last 17 years, served as project director of the Nisei Baseball Research Project, whose mission is to bring awareness and education about Japanese American internment camps through the prism of baseball. Over the years, the NBRP has co-hosted many events honoring Lefty O’Doul, including his election to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.

One of the greatest ambassadors the sports world has ever known, Eddie Feigner (1925-2007) was the most legendary softball player who ever lived. For 60 years, Feigner’s four-man barnstorming team, “The King and His Court,” annually toured 400 towns and cities across the nation, competing against the best full nine and ten-man squads that could be assembled. Feigner’s lifetime stats are a testament to a pitching arm that was a wonder of anatomical science: he recorded 140,000 strikeouts, while amassing 9,700 wins, 930 no-hitters, and 238 perfect games. In his prime, Feigner’s fastball was clocked at 104 mph, and getting a hit off him was enough to make one a local celebrity. While pitching behind his back, through his legs, blindfolded, and from second base, Feigner dazzled more than 200 million fans in person – including those in every Major League stadium – and uncountable more on national TV shows. Feigner’s most incredible feat took place at Dodger Stadium in 1967 during a nationally televised softball exhibition game when he consecutively struck out All-Stars Maury Wills, Harmon Killebrew, Brooks Robinson, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and Roberto Clemente. During the game he also fanned Pete Rose twice for good measure. “It was a mismatch,” Feigner recalled. “A baseball batter has no concept of how to hit a fastball that rises like mine, or sliders and curves that break 18 inches.” A stroke in 2000 ended the master showman’s playing career at age 75. He continued to tour with the team, however, delighting crowds with his wry and colorful play-by-play announcing until his death in 2007.

Eddie Feigner’s induction will be accepted by his wife, Queen Anne Marie Feigner, who toured the country with her husband and was the only woman to play for The King and His Court. Queen Anne Marie also co-authored the King’s biography, entitled Eddie Feigner: From an Orphan to a King. Feigner will be introduced by his No. 1 fan in Southern California, Steve Fjeldsted, City Librarian for the South Pasadena Public Library. Fjeldsted regularly presents a variety of baseball programs at the South Pasadena Public Library, often in collaboration with the Baseball Reliquary. Recent events have included a book signing and discussion with Josh Wilker, author of Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards; a screening of Jon Leonoudakis’s documentary on the Baseball Reliquary, Not Exactly Cooperstown; and a screening of John Scheinfeld’s documentary about the extraordinary love affair between Chicago and its Cubs, We Believe.

Born in the Dominican Republic in 1938, Manny Mota debuted as an outfielder with the San Francisco Giants in 1962, playing with and learning from stars like Willie Mays, Felipe Alou, and Orlando Cepeda. The right-handed batter continued his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Montreal Expos, and, most notably, the Los Angeles Dodgers, establishing himself as one of the greatest pinch hitters of all time. During his time with the Dodgers (1969-1982), Mota appeared in four World Series, ultimately retiring with a .304 career average and the all-time record for pinch hits (150), a mark since broken by Lenny Harris and Mark Sweeney. Between 1980 and 2012, Mota served as a coach with the Dodgers, the longest-tenured coach in the team’s history; his 33 consecutive years as a coach is second in longevity only to Nick Altrock, who spent 42 years as a coach for the old Washington Senators. Now 75 years of age, Mota remains an active force within the Dodgers organization and the community. He serves as a minor league hitting instructor and lends his expert analysis to the Dodgers’ Spanish-language television broadcasts. Mota and his wife Margarita operate the Manny Mota International Foundation, a humanitarian organization that provides resources and assistance to disadvantaged youth in both the Dominican Republic and the United States.

Mota will be present to personally accept his induction, and will be introduced by one of his sons, JOSE MOTA, a former Major League player who is now a popular broadcaster for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Free parking is available in the University of Phoenix underground parking structure, which is located just north of the Pasadena Central Library on the corner of Garfield Avenue and Corson Street. The entrance to the parking structure is on Garfield.

Although the ceremony does not begin until 2:00 p.m., we encourage attendees to arrive by 1:30 p.m. (when the doors to the auditorium open) as seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you arrive when the library opens at 1:00 p.m., this will allow you ample time to view the Baseball Reliquary’s exhibition, Another Trip in Baseball’s Time Machine: Photography at the Field of Dreams (details below), which is being presented in the display cases in the Business and Humanities Wings, and the Centennial Room.

In conjunction with the 2013 Induction Day ceremony for the Shrine of the Eternals, the Baseball Reliquary presents Another Trip in Baseball’s Time Machine: Photography at the Field of Dreams, an exhibition which highlights the dynamic relationship between photography and baseball from the game’s formative years to the modern era. The exhibition, which will be on view through August 31, is in the Pasadena Central Library’s Business and Humanities Wings, and the Centennial Room.

Rather than simply presenting a collection of the most famous baseball photographs, the exhibition serves more as a window on American baseball, both the professional and amateur games, as seen through the perspectives of a select group of observers. The Baseball Reliquary invited historians, authors, curators, librarians, and artists to contribute their “favorite” baseball photograph from any time period, along with a caption/description explaining why the image holds such personal interest and meaning. Through these contributions, the viewer can explore the influence of photography on baseball history and encounter highly personal observations on our national pastime.

Contributors to Another Trip in Baseball’s Time Machine: Photography at the Field of Dreams include, in alphabetical order, Frank Ceresi (The National Pastime Museum), Howard Cole, David Davis, Paul Dickson, Raymond Doswell (Negro Leagues Baseball Museum), Morris Eckhouse, Chris Epting, Steve Fjeldsted, Bill Hickman, Greg Jezewski, Charles Kapner, Albert Kilchesty, Bruce Markusen, Dan McLaughlin (Pasadena Public Library), Mark Ocegueda, Joe Price, Andy Strasberg, Nick Smith, Kevin Varrone, and Pamela Wilson.

Also included in the exhibition will be a portfolio of 25 historic black-and-white baseball photographs from The Rucker Archive. Operated by renowned collector, photo archivist, and historian Mark Rucker, The Rucker Archive is a repository for thousands of baseball photographs, many of which have never been previously published or exhibited.

Another Trip in Baseball’s Time Machine: Photography at the Field of Dreams has been curated by Terry Cannon, Executive Director of the Baseball Reliquary, a Southern California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history.

Pasadena Central Library hours during the course of the exhibition are Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. For additional information, contact the Baseball Reliquary by phone at (626) 791-7647 or by e-mail at terymar@earthlink.net. The exhibition is supported, in part, by a grant to the Baseball Reliquary from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

 

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