Former Dodgers Cy Young winner Don Newcombe, slugger Ted Kluszewski, new minor-league career home run champ Mike Hessman, journalist Arnold Hano, sports writer Steve Willstein and San Francisco Giants “Crazy Crab” mascot Wayne Doba are among the 12 new names on the ballot of 50 eligible to be voted into the Baseball Reliquary Shrine of the Eternals, curator Terry Cannon announced today.
The Pasadena-based Reliquary honors those whose statistics accomplishements in baseball are not necessarily the sole criteria for induction. It is comprised of individuals, both well known and somewhat obscure, who have “altered the baseball world in ways that supersede statistics,” according to Cannon’s creed.
Hold overs from previous ballots eligible for induction in 2016 include former Dodgers Cy Young winner Mike Marshall, Dodgers pitcher Hideo Nomo, softball star Lisa Fernandez, Oakland A’s owner Charles O. Finley, two-sport star Bo Jackson, broadcasters Ernie Harwell and Bob Costas and photographer Charles M. Conlon. The one who has been on the ballot the most years without election: Pitchers Rube Foster and Rube Waddell (18 years), pitchers Chet Brewer and J.R. Richard (17 years), Fernandez (16 years), Conlon (15 years) and scout Phil Pote (14 years).
The 12 new candidates, with comments from Cannon, are alphabetically:
== Isabel Alvarez: The youngest Latina to join the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The pitcher and outfielder from Havana was 15 when she played for Chicago of the AAGPBL.
== Reuben Berman: A fan who happened to be at a game played at New York’s Polo Grounds in 1921 refused to return a foul ball hit into the stands, as was customary in those days. A court eventually ruled in his favor.
== Emilio Cordova: A prolific writer on the game from the Dominican Republic since 1944.
== Wayne Doba: An actor who was picked to wear the “Crazy Crab” costume for the San Francisco Giants, as an anti-mascot to the movement in other baseball cities to have legitimate mascots. He lasted just one season, in 1984.
== Arnold Hano: Author known for his book, “A Day in the Bleachers” and the subject of a documentary for his award-winning career.
== Mike Hessman: Hit his 433rd home run as a member of the Toledo Mud Hens in 2015 and retired after this past season of playing minor-league ball since 1996. The Fountain Valley native and Mater Dei High grad did get 223 plate appearances in the big leagues with Detroit, Atlanta and the N.Y. Mets. And hit another 14 homers.
== Ted Kluszewski: Four-time All Star and near 1954 MVP for the Cincinnati Reds, when he hit 49 homers, drove in 141 runs and hit .326. If not for a back injury sustained during a clubhouse fight in 1956 he could have piled up numbers for Baseball Hall of Fame recognition. He ended his career in 1961 with the expansion Los Angeles Angels.
== Don Newcombe: The 1949 NL. Rookie of the Year and 1956 NL MVP and Cy Young winner was the first black pitcher to win 20 games in a season (1951).
== Bing Russell: Owner of the Class-A independent Portland Mavericks set a record in 1977 for highest attendance in minor league history. The 2014 documentary, “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” chronicles the team as well as the man, father of actor Kurt Russell.
== Billy Scripture: Former ballplayer, manager, and instructor in professional baseball noted for his intensity, toughness, and dedication to teaching.
== Dr. David Tracy: A Manhattan psychologist who boasted that his novel relaxation and focusing techniques could turn even the perennially pathetic St. Louis Browns into winners. His treatments of the Browns are parodied in the movie, “The Natural.”
== Steve Wilstein: The Associated Press sports writer who broke the news of St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire’s use of androstenedione during the great home run race of 1998.
Active members of the Baseball Reliquary will vote on the 2016 class — membership consists of having a $25 annual dues paid. Voting will be mailed on April 1, 2016. The induction will be July 17.
The 51 who are already in the Reliquary:
Jim Abbott, Dick Allen, Roger Angell, Emmett Ashford, Moe Berg, Sy Berger, Yogi Berra, Steve Bilko, Ila Borders, Jim Bouton, Jim Brosnan, Bill Buckner, Glenn Burke, Roberto Clemente, Steve Dalkowski, Dizzy Dean, Rod Dedeaux, Jim Eisenreich, Dock Ellis, Eddie Feigner, Mark Fidrych, Curt Flood, Ted Giannoulas, Josh Gibson, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Pete Gray, William “Dummy” Hoy, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Bill James, Dr. Frank Jobe, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Roger Maris, Marvin Miller, Minnie Minoso, Manny Mota, Lefty O’Doul, Buck O’Neil, Satchel Paige, Jimmy Piersall, Pam Postema, Jackie Robinson, Rachel Robinson, Lester Rodney, Pete Rose, Casey Stengel, Luis Tiant, Fernando Valenzuela, Bill Veeck, Jr., Maury Wills, Kenichi Zenimura, and Don Zimmer.
== More info on the Shrine: Terry Cannon, Executive Director of the Baseball Reliquary, at P.O. Box 1850, Monrovia, CA 91017; by phone at (626) 791-7647; or by e-mail at email@example.com.