This week's arts and culture column entailed a field trip that turned out to be one of those serendipitous days of goodwill and joy that keep us humans getting out of bed one more day.
The reflection starts like this:
As a New Hampshire native, my knowledge of baseball is strictly confined to the Boston Red Sox, and began and ended around the Carl Yastrzemski era.
But I understand and am fascinated by the near-obsessive love that so many feel for our national sport.
Enter L.A.’s own Baseball Reliquary, “a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history, and to exploring the national pastime’s unparalleled creative possibilities.”
The collection includes such sacred objects as “Dock Ellis Hair Curlers,” “Mother Teresa Autographed Baseballs” and the “Babe Ruth Sacristy Box,” out of which a priest performed the last rites.
Each third Sunday in July, the Reliquary hosts the Shrine of the Eternals, a kind of people’s Hall of Fame, and inducts three new members, chosen not so much for stellar stats as for heart crossed with eccentricity.
But this is no tongue-in-cheek lark...
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.
|THE BABE RUTH HOT DOG|
photo credit: THE BASEBALL RELIQUARY
According to the Baseball Reliquary website, the story behind the ot Dog runs like this:
Babe Ruth’s extraordinary journey from a Catholic reform school in Baltimore to the storied confines of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx made him the idol of a nation. The ballplayer of ballplayers, Babe was also a man who indulged in earthly pleasures, as sportswriter H.G. Salsinger noted, “He could eat more, drink more, smoke more, swear more, and enjoy himself more than any contemporary.” A legendary gourmand, Babe was fond of drinking a quart mixture of bourbon whiskey and ginger ale at breakfast, before attacking a porterhouse steak garnished with half-a-dozen fried eggs and potatoes on the side.
Perhaps no artifact of Ruthiana attests more to his culinary excesses than this desiccated hot dog, partially consumed by the Bambino during an eating binge just prior to his collapse on a train ride in April 1925. Babe reportedly gorged himself on a dozen to eighteen hot dogs before blacking out, and a week later he was at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York, undergoing surgery for an intestinal abscess. New York writers termed his illness “The Bellyache Heard Round the World,” but in recent years historians have speculated that Babe actually suffered from gonorrhea and not acute indigestion.
|SINGER OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT OVER 125 PROFESSIONAL|
BASEBALL GAMES; AUTHOR OF ,AMONG OTHER BOOKS, ROUNDING THE BASES; AND WHITTIER COLLEGE PROFESSOR OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES JOSEPH L. PRICE.
NOTE THE QUILT, WHICH WAS COMMISSIONED BY THE RELIQUARY
AND FEATURES FEMALE SAINTS (I THINK IMAGINARY) PLAYING VARIOUS BASEBALL POSITIONS.
|DODGERS SUPER-FAN EMMA AMAYA. |
|THE MASTERMIND BEHIND IT ALL:|
THE ONE AND ONLY MR. TERRY CANNON.
"It is a traveling museum for which no category yet exists. it was started in 1996 as an attempt to provide an outlet and an organizational structure for my combined interests in baseball history and art. it is the only baseball institution that asks you to surrender the idea that history and fiction can be neatly separated."
No surprise: Terry served for years on the board of the Museum of Jurassic Technology.