Friday, July 26, 2013


With Cooperstown's weekend a dud in the eyes of the media, this year is one in which its creative, quirky alter-ego, the Baseball Reliquary, can benefit from the comparison.

Three generations of the Manny Mota family proudly assembled at the 2013 Shrine
of the Eternals ceremony to celebrate baseball's greatest pinch-hitter.

(Photo by Jeff Levie, courtesy of the Baseball Reliquary.)
The Reliquary's fifteenth induction ceremony for its Shrine of the Eternals was held in Pasadena last Sunday (their event is always held the week before Cooperstown's) and seemed to carry some additional weight. Media coverage, which has always been scant for the Reliquary, is beginning at last to reflect a greater understanding of what the great "anti-institution" is all about.

Perhaps it is that the word "Eternals" is finally beginning to resonate as a replacement for the word "Fame." The latter is nebulous almost to the extreme, leaving room for an almost imponderable range of  discussion and disagreement: in the case of Cooperstown it has become bogged down by questions of statistics and morality. But the former, while still flexible, conveys a region of existence that suggests something more elemental. It asks for an assessment that is more spiritual in nature--spiritual as opposed to religious, or moral, or statistical.

When tasked to select "Eternals" from such a viewpoint, the voting membership of the Baseball Reliquary has produced something unique and remarkable. While very few of the great players in baseball history are enshrined there, all those who are have some manifestation of a greatness in spirit.

That quality rarely, if ever, surfaces as a criterion for selection in Cooperstown. That's why the alternative approach, as represented by the Reliquary and its Shrine, is a necessary supplement (and, in some instances, a corrective).

This idea is catching on. In addition to our coverage, which can be found at The Hardball Times, you are also directed to a terrific article by David Davis at the more mainstream baseball media site Sports on Earth.

And consider joining the Baseball Reliquary. If you love baseball enough to read this blog, your love is clearly battle-tested enough for such a bold move.