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THE WRITING ON (AND OFF) THE WALL THE OTHER HALL PASADENA GROUP HONORS ITS OWN LIST OF BASEBALL'S GREATS.

Byline: TOM HOFFARTH

PASADENA - If only because of his nickname, ``Shoeless Joe'' Jackson would have probably loved running barefoot around Southern California. After this weekend, he'd enjoy it even more knowing he's part of the permanent landscape.

What Cooperstown doesn't want, Tinseltown embraces. So just hours after the Baseball Hall of Fame does its production by putting up the plaque of former St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith, the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals will give Jackson, stuck 50 years after his death with a lifetime ban from major-league baseball, a lifetime membership.

It's no joke, no publicity stunt, not even a great big media event.

Although the Pasadena-based group of eclectic baseball fanatics has yet to erect a real display room for its heroes, it has voted in Jackson, a .356 lifetime hitter who might never get inducted into the game's ``real'' hallowed halls because of his alleged role in the fixing of the 1919 World Series.

So, at the seating-is-limited Pasadena Central Library at 2 p.m. Sunday, anyone interested can come see the ceremony that makes Jackson, former Chicago White Sox great Minnie Minoso (there in person) and former Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych the Shrine's fourth class of electees.

``Clearly, there's a general feeling on behalf of our members that regardless if he's been implicated or not, that was 75 years ago and Shoeless Joe has had enough banishment,'' said Terry Cannon, the Reliquary's founder and executive director since its inception in 1996.

Mike Nola, an authority on Jackson's career who was given permission by Jackson's relatives to fly in from Florida to accept the induction on his behalf, couldn't agree more.

``I believe Terry and his group are doing a good thing for the game, and any honor Joe receives, the harder it will be for commissioner (Bud) Selig to continue to ignore us,'' said Nola, who also maintains the Jackson official Web site (www.blackbetsy.com) and is involved in the Shoeless Joe Jackson Society.

Both Cannon and Nola can recite plenty of evidence about Jackson's innocence in that Black Sox Scandal that nearly shut down the game. But the on-going campaign to have Jackson's ban lifted and get him voted into Cooperstown - a movement that involved Ted Williams until his dying days - has yet to sway any members with the Hall of Fame Committee.

Maybe it's just another reason, Cannon said, the Reliquary serves an important purpose in these dreaded times of strike talk, contraction and deadlocked All-Star games.

Although one could easily call this a Hall of Characters based on the current enrollment, Cannon views it more as a place where anyone can find the essence of the game again.

``Some have called us the `Left Coast Hall' or `The People's Hall,' but we're putting every bit of effort to make it a unique alternative and complement to Cooperstown,'' said Cannon, a 48-year-old who runs his own publishing company in Pasadena. ``It's a fan-based group, started by fans and exists for the fans to provide an outlet and a way to interpret history from the fans. We all know history handed (out) by the establishment, and fans don't seem to have too much input.

``That's why we were formed and why the Shrine of the Eternals honors those who have made significant and lasting contributions.''

That, too, can be debated. On the ballot of 50 names mailed out to the 200 members this past spring, there was Sidd Finch, the fictitious player made real by author George Plimpton in an April Fool's prank for Sports Illustrated; Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, members of the New York Yankees in the '60s who swapped wives, and Dave Pallone, an openly gay umpire.

Curiously left off this ballot: Pete Rose.

Rose's well-known lifetime ban because of admitted gambling probably hurts Jackson's case for having the commissioner's office lift his punishment. Cannon agrees.

Could be only a coincidence, but the Baseball Reliquary membership hasn't even made a strong effort to nominate Rose for its voting.

``We talk all the time to members to get their input on who'd they like to have on our master list for the ballot - which has several hundred names, in fact,'' said Cannon. ``The only time Pete Rose comes up is if someone says something like, 'If you put him on, I'll drop my membership.'

``Maybe it's his arrogance, his lack of an apology, his overcampaigning. I'm not terribly thrilled about him as a person, anyway, and I don't think Ted Williams was a great fan of Pete Rose, either. Maybe when he's been dead for 50 years, we'll consider it. But we won't put him in just to get a story. That's not what we're interested in.''

Pure and simple, Jackson's in, Rose isn't. You want a vote? It's there for you. Registration is on the site (www.baseballreliquary.org) to sign up in time for the 2003 election.

``The Baseball Hall of Fame is a shrine for everyone, a holy place to visit - it's Valhalla,'' said Peter Golenbock, the well-known author who will be Sunday's keynote speaker at the Shrine of the Eternals. ``But there are others worthy of being honored for things they did. The Reliquary honors them.''

Even if Cooperstown won't. Isn't that so, Joe?

``THE PEOPLE'S HALL''

After Sunday's ceremonies, there will be a dozen members of the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals. A look at the list (with induction in parentheses):

--Moe Berg, former catcher for 17 years who became a U.S. spy during World War II (2000).

--Jim Bouton, whose pro career as a pitcher was overshadowed by his 1970 controversial book, ``Ball Four'' (2001).

--Dock Ellis, controversial pitcher in '60s and '70s who once admitted to taking LSD before a game but was also a spokesman for civil rights (1999).

--Mark ``The Bird'' Fidrych, who captured the country with his enthusiasm and antics in a brief career during the '70s (2002).

--Curt Flood, outfielder for 15 years who sacrificed his career by challenging baseball's reserve clause (1999).

--``Shoeless Joe'' Jackson, a .356 career hitter (third behind Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby) who maintained his innocence in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal but was given a lifetime ban (2002).

--Bill ``Spaceman'' Lee, unconventional pitcher with a rebellious spirit for 14 seasons (2000).

--Orestses ``Minnie'' Minoso, first Latin-American superstar who played in five decades and is credited as the oldest player to ever get a hit at age 53 (2002).

--``Satchel'' Paige, one of the Negro League's greatest pitchers and folk heroes who finally got to pitch in the majors at the end of his career (2001).

--Jimmy Piersall, a high-strung outfielder who lasted 17 seasons and was immortalized in the movie ``Fear Strikes Out'' (2001).

--Pam Postema, a career minor-league umpire who never was allowed to work in the major leagues and eventually filed a sexual-discrimination lawsuit (2000).

--Bill Veeck, Jr., former innovative owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox from 1948-80 (1999).

CAPTION(S):

3 photos, box

Photo:

(1 -- color) Terry Cannon is the founder of the Pasadena-based Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals.

John McCoy/Staff Photographer

(2 -- 3) ``Shoeless Joe'' Jackson, top, and Minnie Minoso, left, are some of the newest inductees to the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals.

Associated Press

Box:

``THE PEOPLE'S HALL'' (see text)
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 27, 2002
Words:1225
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