Retired Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully, catcher-turned- broadcaster Bob Uecker and “Peanuts” character Charlie Brown were inducted into the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals Sunday at the Pasadena Central Library.
The Shrine of the Eternals differs from the Hall of Fame in that statistical accomplishment is not the principal criterion for election.
Its criteria are distinctiveness of play (good or bad), the uniqueness of character and personality and the imprint the individual has made on the baseball landscape, according to the website of the Baseball Reliquary, which bills itself as a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history.
Scully received votes on a record 59.5 percent of the ballots in his first year of eligibility.
The previous record was 53 percent, set in 2000 by colorful pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee and matched in 2008 by Buck O’Neil, a first
baseman and manager in the Negro Leagues and the first black coach in Major League Baseball.
Elections have been held annually since 1999.
The three candidates in the field of 50 receiving the most votes are elected. Uecker received votes on 37 percent of the ballots and Charlie Brown 25.5 percent.
Runners-up included the late manager Leo Durocher, who received votes on 24.8 percent of the ballots, and broadcaster Bob Costas, who received votes on 23.5 percent of the ballots.
Scully did not attend the ceremony because of a previous commitment, according to Baseball Reliquary executive director Terry Cannon. His induction was introduced and accepted by Lisa Nehus Saxon, a former Los Angeles Daily News sports reporter.
Uecker missed the ceremony to broadcast the Milwaukee Brewers- Philadelphia Phillies game in Milwaukee. His induction was introduced and accepted by former major league outfielder Jay Johnstone.
Charlie Brown’s induction was introduced and accepted by Craig Schulz, the youngest son of “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz.
Also honored were Cam Perron, who received the Hilda Award, which recognizes distinguished service to the game by a baseball fan, and Richard Santillan, who received the Tony Salin Memorial Award, which recognizes individuals for their commitment to the preservation of baseball history.
Perron, 22, began writing letters to Negro Leagues players when he was in middle school. By his freshman year in high school, he began organizing annual Negro Leagues reunions and reconnecting players who had been out of touch for more than 50 years.
Perron located more 100 previously undiscovered players from the Negro Leaguers and obtained pensions for many of the players through a program offered by Major League Baseball.
Santillan is the lead author of the Mexican-American baseball book series which showcases Mexican-American baseball and softball pictures through the lens of race, class, gender, political and civil rights, the border, prejudice and discrimination and illustrates how baseball and softball served as political tools to advance equality and social justice.
–City News Service
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