A baseball museum that is “better than true”
By: Allan Wang
Now on display at the Los Angeles Central Library is an exhibit called “Something in Common.” In it, there’s a San Diego chicken costume, a cigarette that Babe Ruth maybe smoked, and a baseball signed by the real Mother Teresa.
The artifacts were borrowed from the Baseball Reliquary, an organization blending wonder with reverence. These artifacts tell the stories from ages ago, including the work of Terry Cannon, the creator of the Reliquary. He created it in 1996 and 3 years later would create the Shrine of Eternals, a little bit of a copycat from the Hall of Fame.
The last few years, however, have been difficult. The pandemic hit, and then Cannon died in August of 2020. Reliquary members and fans gathered at the Pasadena Central Library to pay homage. Silence during the baseball summer of All Stars worried fans that the Shrine of Eternals might have been shut down, permanently.
However, Mary Cannon, Terry’s widow and co-owner said that it was not, simply in the works. Sure enough, after encountering some technical difficulties, the site came back to life in early July. The Shrine’s 2020 class was to be inducted that November. This class included Rube Foster, the Father of Black Baseball, and Max Patkin, the “Clown Prince of Baseball.”
The new owner of the Reliquary is Joe Price, who was selected by Cannon himself before he died. He was a natural choice due to his infectious enthusiasm. The Shrine of Eternals is different from the Hall of Fame, because as Ron Shelton, a friend of Terry’s put it, “In a certain way, the Hall of Fame honors the movie stars, though a lot of them are dishonorable characters. The Reliquary is about everything that’s not a movie star.”