After the Dodgers got eliminated by the Cardinals, I was feeling very down. I had driven to work because I was planning attending the Baseball Reliquary event at the Burbank Library “Dock Ellis and the Swinging 70’s.” I drove feeling depressed and not sure if I wanted to be around people but I drove there getting there just before the event started.
From left to right, Baseball Reliquary Executive director, Terry Cannon with the panel of speakers of Jeffrey Radice, co-producer and director of “No No: A Dockumentary”; historian and journalist Dan Epstein; and former big leaguer Jim “Mudcat” Grant.
I am so glad I went! I could have listen to these speakers for hours, especially Jim Mudcat Grant Mr. Grant has a bank of stories to tell and he tells them with such charm. I was glad to go out to dinner afterwards because I ended up hearing more stories from Mr. Grant. He was telling me about his brother Julian playing in Monterey, Mexico and how everyone used to call him “Julio.” One time they got into a taxi, he was sitting in the front and his brother in the back. The taxi driver asked him “Are you Julio?” He said no, and pointed to his brother and the back. The taxi driver was driving with the windows open yelling to people “Hey, this is Julio!”
Mudcat told me about an exhibition games in the south, They had landed in New Orleans, where blacks were not permitted in the airport lobby or to wait for cabs alongside whites. They had to wait on a grassy hill to wait until a black cab would arrive. The luggage would invariably be brought to the white hotel. The black players would get to the homes where they could stay. They would draw straws on who would go to the white hotel to retrive their luggage. In once such incident, the Indians were playing the Boston Red Sox in New Orleans and Mudcat’s straw had come out short. When Grant went to retrieve the luggage, he was stopped by a hotel baggage handler who refused to allow him into the hotel. He told him that blacks had no business entering. While discussing the situation with him, Grant saw Ted Williams entering the lobby. Williams walked over to Grant and asked what was happening.
“Well, you know we cannot stay at this hotel,” said Grant.
“I know. It’s a terrible shame,” said Williams. ”This man will not let me come in to get my bags that were sent here,” said Mudcat.
Williams replied, “He’s right. You shouldn’t be going in to get those bags. He should get them and bring them out to you!”
Another of his stories was when he was in Cuba. He was in a car with Tommy Lasorda and another black players. The police stopped him and Tommy told them “Let me do the talking.” Well, Mudcat said that they ended up in jail! They jumped on Tommy in jail and asked him “What did you tell them??”
Here are pictures from the event:
Mudcat signed my baseball. Loved the hat he was wearing!
Part of the Baseball Reliquary exhibition at the Burbank Library
part of the pictures Mudcat was showing us. In the picture Mudcat, Larry Doby and Satchel Paige.
If any of you want a break from the playoff, head over to the Burbank Library. Here is what Terry Cannon of the Baseball Reliquary posted about the event:
I got my ballot package in the mail to vote for the Baseball Reliquary Shrine of the Eternals for the 2013 Election! Each year, the Reliquary’s members elect three candidates from a field of 50 nominees. We can vote for up to nine from the list.
The Shrine of the Eternals 2013 Induction Day will be held on Sunday afternoon, July 21, 2013.
From 2011, here Maury Wills spending a few minutes with me before his induction into the Shrine in 2011.
Last year Dr. Frank Jobe, Mudcat Grant & Luis Tiant were inducted into the Shrine of the Eternals.
Tommy John who introduced Dr. Frank Jobe
Gentlemen: You look marvelous!
The Tony Salin Memorial Award. In addition to the Shrine of the Eternals inductees, the Tony Salin Memorial Award (presented annually to an individual dedicated to the preservation of baseball history) is given on this day. Among the past recipients have been Peter Golenbock, Richard Beverage , Mike Shannon, Stew Thornley, Paul Dickson and Dave Kelly in 2012.
Richard Beverage accepting the Tony Salin Memorial award in 2007.
Master of ceremonies Terry Cannon greets Paul Dickson as he comes to the stage to accept the 2011 Tony Salin Memorial Award for his commitment to the preservation of baseball history.
Hilda Award. Another award given is the Hilda Award (named in memory of Hilda Chester and honoring a baseball fans exceptional devotion to the game) is given on this day.
From the Baseball Reliquary website, among the past recipients of the Hilda Chester award have been :
2001. Rea Wilson. In the Summer of 2000, at the age of 77, Rea Wilson of Seal Beach, California made a pilgrimage to all thirty MLB ballparks traveling alone in her van.
Hilda Award. Cowbell awarded to Rea Wilson.
2003: Ruth Roberts. In 1963, she wrote “Meet the Mets,” which is played before every Mets home game. In fact, the song is such a staple among generations of New York baseball enthusiasts that some diehard Mets fans have requested that, upon their death, “Meet the Mets” be sung at their funeral before their casket is closed.
2006. Bill Murray. Comedian and actor Bill Murray, the first “celebrity fan” to receive the Hilda, is a Chicago Cubs fan extraordinaire and part owner of the St. Paul Saints (a franchise in the American Association, an independent professional baseball league), for whom he also serves in the capacity of team psychologist.
2007. Cass Sapir. In 2006, documentary filmmaker Cass Sapir crisscrossed the nation in an old Honda, traveling to every Minor League and Major League ballpark, a total of 189 stadiums, in an astounding 157 days. The Cambridge, Massachusetts resident used his self-financed road trip as a means of raising money and awareness for the Jimmy Fund, a Boston-based charity that raises funds for cancer research.
2008. John Adams. John Adams of Brecksville, Ohio was celebrating in 2008 his 35th consecutive year of pounding his bass drum in the bleachers at Cleveland Indians games, come rain or shine. Adams has twice thrown out a ceremonial first pitch at Jacobs Field and was honored in 2007 with his own bobblehead night (naturally, it was designed so that his arms could be bobbled up and down to bang on a toy drum).
2010: Sister Mary Assumptazaba. Sister Mary’s passion for baseball has been focused largely on her beloved Cleveland Indians. She wrote and edited her own segment, “Tribe Habit,” for the ABC television news affiliate in Cleveland. Baking cookies for the Indians players since 1984 eventually led to a small business operation called “Nun Better” Cookies, with the profits helping support her religious community. She also had two cameo appearances in the 1989 film, Major League, and even has her own baseball card (made by Upper Deck in 1997).
2011: Chris Erskine. Chris Erskine’s weekly columns in the Los Angeles Times, “Man of the House” and “Fan of the House,” have been widely lauded for their wry insights and (often) tongue-in-cheek celebrations of fatherhood, life in the suburbs, and sports as a way of establishing relationships with children and sharing a distinct sense of belonging with others in his community. Whether ruminating on the experience of being a volunteer coach for Little League baseball or rhapsodizing about a Chicago-style hot dog at an Angels game, he examines the myriad ways that baseball allows fans to pass time and to connect with their personal histories.
2012: Arnold Hano. Arnold Hano attended his first baseball game in New York in 1926 as a child, and saw all the greats of that era from his seat in the bleachers. Memorable moments he witnessed in baseball history include the last game Babe Ruth pitched for the New York Yankees (1933), Don Larsen’s perfect game in the World Series (1956), and Sandy Koufax’s first no-hitter (1962). His account of the first game of the 1954 World Series between his beloved New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians,A Day in the Bleachers, is a classic of baseball literature and one of the most enduring expressions of the meaning of fanhood, especially of those who sit in the bleacher seats.
Arnold Hano accepting the Hilda Award in 2012.
And the recipient of the 2013 Hilda Chester award: Emma Amaya. Yes! that is me! 🙂
Terry Cannon was at the Dodger game against the Pirates on Friday night. He said “I got something for you” I thought he was going to lend me the book (Baseball) Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend that I could not check out from the Burbank library. I was shocked when I read the letter. I am also so honored. Those are giant shoes I am following.
Thank you so much Terry and Mary Cannon, the board of directors and the membership of the Baseball Reliquary. I’ve been grinning from ear to ear since I found out the news!
Off day for the Dodgers today. They return to Dodger Stadium to take on the Astros for a three game series starting Friday. Memorial Day starts a four game series with the Milwaukee Brewers. Yep! Ryan Braun and company will be here at Dodger Stadium.
Since we have a day off, I decided to post this Baseball poem by Jim “Mudcat” Grant. I got to meet Mudcat during the 60’s team reunion done in the Loge section at Dodger Stadium in 2008.
A BASEBALL POEM BY JIM “MUDCAT” GRANT
LIFE IS LIKE A GAME OF BASEBALL
AND YOU PLAY IT EVERYDAY
IT ISN’T JUST THE BREAKS YOU GET
BUT THE KIND OF GAME YOU PLAY
STOP AND LOOK THE WHOLE TEAM OVER
YOU’VE GOT DEDICATION THERE
YOU’RE BOUND TO BE A WINNER
WITH MEN WHO REALLY CARE
AT FIRST BASE THERE’S RELIGION
YOU’VE STOOD THE TEST OF TIME
AT THIRD BASE THERE’S BROTHERHOOD
THE STALWART OF THE NINE
YOUR LEFT FIELDER IS AMBITION
DON’T EVER LET HIM SHIRK
RIGHT FIELDER IS A HUSKY MAN
YOU’LL FIND HIS NAME IS WORK
YOUR CENTER FIELDER IS VERY FAST
THOUGH SMALL AND HARD TO SEE
SO WATCH WHEN HE GETS THE BALL
YOUR PITCHER’S NAME IS COURAGE
YOU NEED HIM IN THIS GAME
FOR TRUTH AND FAITH YOUR KEYSTONE MEN
THE GROUND THAT THEY WILL TAME
YOUR CATCHER’S NAME IS HUMOR
HE’S IMPORTANT TO THE SCHEME
WHILE HONOR IS PITCHING FROM THE BULLPEN
YOUR GAME IS ALWAYS CLEAN
WITH LOVE ON YOUR BENCH
YOU’RE PERFECTION NO LESS
AND A WINNING TEAM
WITH JOY AND HAPPINESS
NOW THE OTHER TEAM IS STRONG
GREED, ENVY, HATRED AND DEFEAT
ARE FOUR STRONG INFIELDERS YOU’LL HAVE TO BUCK
TO MAKE YOUR GAME COMPLETE
DISCOURAGEMENT AND FALSEHOOD
ARE THE BIG BOYS IN THE PEN
YOU’LL HAVE TO SWING HARD
WHEN YOU MEET UP WITH THESE MEN
CARELESSNESS AND A MAN CALLED WASTE
YOU’LL FIND THEM PLAYING HARD
AND SELFISHNESS AND JEALOUSY
NONE CAN DISREGARD
THERE IS ONE MORE MAN YOU’LL HAVE TO WATCH
HE’S ALWAYS VERY NEAR
HE’S THE PITCHER FOR THIS TEAM
I’M TOLD HIS NAME IS FEAR
THIS GAME WILL NOT BE EASY
THERE’LL BE STRUGGLES AND THERE’LL BE STRIFE
TO MAKE THE WINNING RUNS
IT’S PLAYED ON THE FIELD OF LIFE
SO STAND BEHIND THE GOOD TEAM
THERE’LL BE MANY WHO’LL APPLAUD
JUST REMEMBER YOU ARE THE PLAYERS
BUT THE UMPIRE THERE IS GOD