Groundbreaking Oakland Athletics executive Billy Beane was among the eight first-time candidates for election to the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals announced Wednesday.

Voting for the Shrine of the Eternals is similar in concept to the annual elections held for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but differs philosophically in that statistical accomplishment is not a criterion for election, according to Terry Cannon, the executive director of the Baseball Reliquary, a Southern California-based organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history.

Electees, both on and off the field, shall have been responsible for developing baseball through athletic and or business achievements, in terms or its larger cultural and sociological impact as mass entertainment and as an arena for the human imagination, Cannon said.

The 50-candidate ballot includes individuals best known for their playing or managing or careers in Major League Baseball, along with executives, broadcasters, figures from the Negro Leagues and three-time Olympic gold-medal winning softball pitcher Lisa Fernandez.

The three candidates receiving the highest percentage of votes from the Baseball Reliquary’s membership are elected to the hall.

The three new inductees will be announced in May, with the Induction Day ceremony scheduled for July.

Other first-timers on the ballot include the late Boston Red Sox slugging star Tony Conigliaro, whose career was cut short by being hit in his left eye with a pitch; Melissa Ludtke, who was denied access to the New York Yankees clubhouse when reporting on the 1977 World Series for Sports Illustrated, then was victorious in a lawsuit against Major League Baseball, seeking equal access for female reporters; and Dave Raymond, the first person to portray the Phillie Phanatic.

Broadcaster Bob Costas, who finished fourth in the voting for the 2018 Shrine of the Eternals class with votes on 25.5 percent of the ballots, is again on the ballot, along with three candidates who received votes on 25 percent of the ballots in the 2018 election — the late manager Leo Durocher, the late Effa Manley, a co-owner of the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League, and former Houston Astros pitcher J.R. Richard.

Beane is best known for his pioneering use of analytics which enabled the Athletics to win American League West titles over teams with higher revenues and payrolls.

All members of the Baseball Reliquary are eligible to vote.

Additional information on the Shrine of the Eternals and Baseball Reliquary is available by contacting Cannon at (626) 791-7647 or by e-mail at terymar@earthlink.net.

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