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Thursday, July 20, 2017

THT: A Joyful Celebration of Baseball

Good reporting by Sarah Wexler on the 19th annual induction day for the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals.

The first honor bestowed was the 2017 Hilda Award, named, of course, for Hilda Chester, and intended to especially honor noteworthy fans.

This year’s recipient was Cam Perron, a 22-year-old Tulane University business management graduate. Perron’s life’s passion is the preservation of Negro League history. At the age of 12, he began writing retired ballplayers for autographs, sending 20 to 40 letters a week to former major leaguers and former Negro leaguers. He found that the Negro league alumni tended to be quite enthusiastic in their responses, often sending replies that were two or three pages long. Perron started including his phone number in his letters, and often ended up having hours-long conversations with players.

...At the age of 13, he teamed up with Dr. Layton Revel, founder and executive director of the Center for Negro League Baseball Research in Carrollton, Texas, whom he describes as his “best friend.” The two have organized Negro Leagues reunions in Birmingham, Ala., for each of the past eight years.

Perron was also instrumental in getting MLB to launch a Negro League pension program, which provides anyone who can prove they played Negro League baseball for four or more years with a yearly $10,000 pension — a sum which, in Perron’s words, “really makes a difference” for a lot of guys. Perron has been featured twice on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, given a TED-Ed talk, and is currently in the process of working on a feature film based on his efforts.


 

 

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