One of the things I’ve come across during my research is that so many readers and writers take this stuff so seriously. As Crash Davis said in Bull Durham, “This game is fun, okay?”
But who says you can both have fun and pay proper respect to those who have made the national pastime so enjoyable? The Baseball Reliquary was created in 1996 as a “nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history and to exploring the national pastime’s unparalleled creative possibilities.” But with fun. With their “Shrine of the Eternals,” the Reliquary pays homage to some of the greats of the game, not just for their contributions on the field, but for the place in baseball’s cultural universe, including Marvin Miller, Dock Ellis, Curt Flood, Bill Veeck, and Jim Bouton to name just a few. (Click here for a complete list.)
Jon Leonoudakis, an award-winning producer whose previous baseball work was serving as producer-director for the documentary, 5:04 p.m.: A First-Hand Account of the 1989 World series Earthquake Game, learned about the Reliquary, became fascinated by the topics and people involved, and created his latest film, Not Exactly Cooperstown a frank and entertaining look at the organization. Not Exactly Cooperstown is beginning a run of screenings in the San Francisco area, but Leonoudakis hopes it won’t be long til it will be showing at a theater or film festival near you. For more information, including screening schedules, visit NotExactlyCooperstown.com.
I had a chance to talk to Leonoudakis recently about the enjoyable task of documenting the work of the Baseball Reliquary.