Malcolm: Shrine of the Eternals

From SABR member Don Malcolm at The Hardball Times on July 20, 2012, with mention of SABR members Terry Cannon and Paul Dickson:

The earliest possible third Sunday in July found an overflow crowd in Pasadena as the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals ceremony turned 14. As seamless and satisfying as ever, the reverently irreverent anti-institution guided by Terry Cannon brought laughter, pathos, and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of cupcakes (supplied by Terry’s tireless wife, Mary).

As sweet as the frosting proved to be, however, the participants (speakers, performers, honorees and audience) were blessed by the one-of-a-kind tartness that mysteriously emerges from the ceremony every year. For 2012, the musical kickoff was provided by a barbershop quartet calling itself American Pastime, with a blend somewhere between the Four Freshman and the Beach Boys, pushing the National Anthem into an unexpected vocal complexity. They followed with a bittersweet original, “There Used To Be A Ballpark,” that pushed further and visibly affected the entire audience, moving the usually dead-pan Cannon to enthusiastic praise as the quartet left the dais to thunderous applause.

Many had come in hopes of seeing a full complement of Eternals on hand for their induction. Alas, Luis Tiant was a no-show, due to a previous commitment. However, there was no lack of star power at the ceremony, what with Tommy Johnmaking a much-anticipated appearance to introduce inductee Dr. Frank Jobe. 

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Originally published: July 20, 2012. Last Updated: July 20, 2012.