Friday, April 17, 2015

Wallet Card Visits the Institute for Baseball Studies - Is Blown Away!

Aloha everybody,

I featured a DVD in my previous post, which talked about the Baseball Reliquary and the Institute for Baseball Studies. As I mentioned in that post, I was inspired to visit the Institute, so I grabbed Wallet Card and my son, and we took a road trip to Baseball Heaven. 

The Institute is located on the campus of Whittier College. We stopped in on a Friday afternoon and found Terry Cannon, Executive Director of the Baseball Reliquary, visiting with someone who had just been gifted the wonderful box of Dodgers goodness that is shown above with Wallet Card. 

Here's a closer look...

This box - and its awesome contents - were given to her by a friend, who believe it or not is a Giants fan! Let's take a look inside. 

What's in the box???? 

 Just a bunch of Dodgers retro-coolness....

Drinking glasses with Dodgers from the 60's. You can see some of the names on the side of the box: Carl Furillo, Don Drysdale and Johnny (I hate Marichal) Roseboro. Also included are Sandy Koufax, Duke Snider and Wally Moon. 

Here's Koufax...

The Duke...

And Wally (Moonshots) Moon...

How cool is this set of glasses? They're in mint condition as though they were made yesterday. What a lucky break it was for me to visit the Institute on the same day those glasses were there. 

Above is a shot of the lucky lady who owns those glasses and Terry. I cannot express enough what a friendly person Terry is, and what a pleasure it is to talk all things baseball with him. The time flew by like a fast breeze.

Check out that wild artwork over Terry's head. Here's a closer look...

It's the first baseball game ever! The mastadon is the batter, and beyond the center fielder you can see the outline of the old MLB logo. 

Here's another quirky baseball artwork...

This was made by a former semi-pro player. Take note of the baseball. It's an actual ball with a monkey skull. Yikes! 

Speaking of quirky artworks, the walls were covered in paintings from a Dodger fan whom Terry tells me makes a new painting for every game and displays them out in his yard....

The center painting above was specially made for the Reliquary.  Here are a few other jewels that are up on display...

You might recognize the large photo of Anthony Perkins as Jimmy Piersall from the film classic "Fear Strikes Out". As auspiciousness would have it, I happened to watch that film for the first time that very morning, so it was a treat for me to see that photo, which Terry says was a donation from a Hollywood studio that was about to toss it out! 

Of course most of you should recognize the photo prints right below Perkins/Piersall - it's Willie Mays' "The Catch".  

You heard about A League of Their Own. How about The Blessed Virgins League?  

Do you go to hell if your team beats them in the World Series?

Below is a banner from a special night for Shoeless Joe Jackson, in his home town...

Below is a tribute to the East Los Angeles baseball team, Los Chorizeros, who were part of the Mexican-American baseball leagues that played across the American Southwest from the 1920's until the early 70's.

Never heard of them? Me neither; I was born just as the leagues were dying out - and courtesy of their sacrilegious omission from Ken Burns' (now flawed in my mind) baseball documentary, most of America has remained uninformed of this great historical slice of baseball. 

Much like the Negro leagues, the Mexican-American leagues were formed because they too were kept out of The Show by all those guys who thought exactly like Al Campanis.

 For every lunch counter sign denying service to African-Americans in the south, there was an equal one denying service to Mexican-Americans in the southwest - particularly down home in Texas (my father's home state). 

Thanks to the Institute, word of these players' contribution to the American fabric of baseball will slowly be brought out to light. 

I'm personally glad that Terry had this display up on the day I visited, because it turns out the leagues were most popular in East L.A., right in the neighborhoods where I grew up, in the shadows of Dodger Stadium.

If not for the Institute, I may never have known of the Chorizeros, so named because of their connection to the Carmelita chorizo factory, which I am sad to say is no longer in business. The closing of Carmelitas was a personal blow to me because they made the BEST CHORIZO EVER, bar none. 

The Chorizeros were such a baseball powerhouse, they were referred to as The Yankees of the West. 

If you check the photo closely, you'll see the logo is a baseball playin' pig. That was the same logo on every package of Carmelitas chorizo. All my young life I wondered about why that pig loved baseball before giving up his life for the breakfast table.

Here's one for my buddy Matt....

Please pardon the slightly blurred image below. I chose to include it because of the interesting displays the Reliquary presented in the past...

That's not nearly everything I have to share from our visit to the Institute, but time is running short as Wallet Card and I will be going to the ballgame tonight to see Kershaw and the Dodgers battle the Rockies. 

We'll have to continue in the next post where I'll showcase my loot - the wonderful things that Terry gave to me on my visit. 

Here's a teaser...

Join Wallet Card and I next time for Part Two! 



  1. I dug that place so much. They're in a small room at the college now,
    but they're expanding floor-wide next year. That is gonna be a cool opening night party!

  2. Yeh, it is. They have so much stuff that they don't even have room yet to display.
    I can't wait until they expand next year.