No Unlucky 13 for Baseball Reliquary’s Induction Day

From Don Malcolm at The Hardball Times on July 21, on last Sunday’s Shrine of the Eternals Induction Day in Pasadena, California — with appearances by SABR members Terry Cannon, Paul Dickson, Jean Hastings Ardell, and Andy Strasberg:

The basic recipe for a Reliquary induction ceremony is well known by now: Two parts anarchy, five parts love, two parts anti-establishment eye-rolling. It is, as Kirk Douglas said about Robert Mitchum’s character in Out of the Past, time-proof and weather-proof. (And yes, Carmageddon-proof.)

There is the Ringing of the Cowbell, followed by [Terry] Cannon’s observations about the raucous Hilda Chester—remarks that are both more loving and more derogatory every year.

There are the Special Awards, for “fandom beyond the call of duty,” given this year to the Los Angeles Times’ Chris Erskine, one of that newspaper’s last remaining treasures, a writer who can live in the world of well-known images and knows how to turn a cliché on its ear, and who lives for baseball.

And for “contribution to the literature and knowledge of the game,” awarded to one of the true giants of baseball lore, Paul Dickson, whose Baseball Dictionary is the seminal reference book about the game.

The Reliquary microphone seems to cast a spell of grace and humor over all, and it was no exception for these two vastly different but essential writers: The Reliquary’s skill at contrast works in both broad and subtle ways.

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Originally published: July 21, 2011. Last Updated: July 21, 2011.