Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tommy John, the late outfielder Rusty Staub and former Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust were inducted into the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals Sunday in Pasadena.
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 organization’s website.
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.
John topped the voting for the shrine’s 2018 class, receiving votes on 44 percent of the ballots returned by members of the Monrovia-based Baseball Reliquary which bills itself as a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture though the context of baseball history and exploring the sport’s unparalleled creative possibilities.
Staub was second, receiving votes on 29 percent of the ballots. Faust was third, receiving votes on 26.5 percent of the ballots.
The three candidates receiving the most votes are elected to the shrine.
John was elected in his first year on the ballot, Staub on his 13th and Faust on her fourth.
Runners-up included broadcaster Bob Costas, named on 25.5 percent of the ballots, and 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, all named on 25 percent of the ballots.
Results of the voting were released May 4. Staub died March 29 at the age of 73.
Bart Wilhelm and Ross Altman were also honored at the ceremony at the Pasadena Central Library.
Wilhelm received the Hilda Award, which recognizes distinguished service to the game by a baseball fan. Wilhelm has attended more then 1,100 games in 270 professional baseball stadiums since his first visit to Tiger Stadium in 1984.
The award was established in memory of the late Brooklyn Dodgers fan Hilda Chester who would ring a cowbell from the bleachers of Ebbets Field.
Altman received the Tony Salin Memorial Award, which recognizes individuals for their commitment to the preservation of baseball history.
Altman has composed and performed musical tributes to many baseball legends over the past 30 years, including Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig, Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams and Shrine of the Eternals members Jimmy Piersall and Steve Bilko.
The award is named in memory of the late baseball author and historian.
John won 288 games during his major league career that spanned from 1963 to 1989, but is best remembered for being the first person to undergo what is now known as Tommy John surgery, which has prolonged the careers of countless pitchers.
Staub was a six-time all-star during a career that spanned from 1963-85. He is the only player in baseball history to have at least 500 hits for four teams — the Houston Astros, Montreal Expos, New York Mets and Detroit Tigers.
Faust is considered baseball’s most famous organist of the past half-century, performing at Chicago White Sox games from 1970 to 2010.
Faust supplemented the traditional organ repertoire with pop and rock themes and linked snippets from television commercials and pop songs to specific players.