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Friday, September 19, 2014

John Thorn: Fame & Fandom

Baseball Fan Hall Of Fame debates? (cough) (cough) (cough) (cough) Thorn offers lists for celebrity and non-celebrity wings of the BBFHOF.

Dedicated in 1939, baseball’s shrine was not the nation’s first Hall of Fame, despite the nearly universal impression that it was: Its inspiration was the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, created on a New York University campus in 1901 to honor men and women who had achieved greatness in any of 16 categories. Yet in the media age ushered in by radio and the talkies, missionaries and explorers were no longer our idols. Athletes were, but they couldn’t enter the Hall of Fame unless they bought a ticket. While Hilda Chester’s cowbell, which assaulted tender ears and sensibilities at Ebbets Field, or Freddy Schuman’s frying pan, which has had a similar effect at Yankee Stadium in recent years, might make it into a Baseball Hall of Fame exhibit, neither Hilda nor Freddy would ever be inducted. They have been denied the 21st century’s inalienable right to immortality, just as athletes once were. If in the metastasizing spread of celebrity there are halls of fame for policemen (Miami Beach), businessmen (Chicago), and clowns (Delavan, Wisc.), why not a shrine for fans?

Greg Franklin Posted: September 19, 2014 at 06:41 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: celebrities, fans, hall of fame, history, mets

 

 

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