Photo of Jerry Pritikin and Don Zimmer, courtesy of Jerry Pritikin.
Photo of Jerry Pritikin, courtesy of Mia Aigotti.
Photo of Jerry Cohen, courtesy of Laurent Laporte.
The Board of Directors of the Baseball Reliquary is pleased to announce the 2014 recipients of the Hilda Award and the Tony Salin Memorial Award. Jerry Pritikin, the legendary "Bleacher Preacher" long associated with the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field, will receive the 2014 Hilda Award. Jerry Cohen, founder and owner of Ebbets Field Flannels in Seattle, Washington, will receive the 2014 Tony Salin Memorial Award. Both awards will be formally presented at the Shrine of the Eternals Induction Day on Sunday, July 20, 2014, beginning at 2:00 p.m., at the Donald R. Wright Auditorium in the Pasadena Central Library, Pasadena, California. The festivities will include the induction of the 2014 class of electees to the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals: Dizzy Dean, Don Zimmer, and Rachel Robinson.
The official news release is attached, along with photos of Jerry Pritikin and Jerry Cohen. Photo credits are as follows:
1) Photo of Jerry Pritikin, courtesy of Mia Aigotti. 2) Photo of Jerry Pritikin and Don Zimmer, courtesy of Jerry Pritikin. 3) Photo of Jerry Cohen, courtesy of Laurent Laporte.
Please advise if you would like any further information.
The Baseball Reliquary
phone: (626) 791-7647
Jerry Pritikin 312 664 3231
For Immediate Release – May 14, 2014
Contact: Terry Cannon, Executive Director, The Baseball Reliquary
Phone (626) 791-7647; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BASEBALL RELIQUARY ANNOUNCES
JERRY PRITIKIN AND JERRY COHEN
RECIPIENTS OF 2014 HILDA AND SALIN AWARDS
The Board of Directors of the Baseball Reliquary, Inc., a Southern California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history, is pleased to announce the 2014 recipients of the Hilda Award and the Tony Salin Memorial Award. Jerry Pritikin, the legendary “Bleacher Preacher” long associated with the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field, will receive the 2014 Hilda Award. Jerry Cohen, founder and owner of Ebbets Field Flannels in Seattle, Washington, will receive the 2014 Tony Salin Memorial Award. Both awards will be formally presented at the Shrine of the Eternals Induction Day on Sunday, July 20, 2014, beginning at 2:00 p.m., at the Donald R. Wright Auditorium in the Pasadena Central Library, Pasadena, California. The festivities will include the induction of the 2014 class of electees to the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals: Dizzy Dean, Don Zimmer, and Rachel Robinson.
Established in 2001 in memory of Hilda Chester, the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers fan, the Hilda Award recognizes distinguished service to the game by a baseball fan. To Baseball Reliquarians, the award is comparable to the Oscar or Emmy: it acknowledges the devotion and passion of baseball fans, and the many ways in which they exhibit their love affair with the national pastime. The 2014 Hilda recipient, JERRY PRITIKIN, became a Chicago Cubs fan in 1945 at the age of eight. When the Cubs clinched the National League pennant, he asked his dad to take him to the World Series. His father felt Jerry was too young but made him a promise: he would take him the next time the Cubs made it into the World Series! And, of course, nearly seventy “wait until next years” later, he’s still waiting to get to the Promised Land. Pritikin rooted for the Cubs even while in “exile” in San Francisco, where he worked as a freelance photographer and publicist from the early 1960s until the late 1980s, at which time he moved back to his beloved Chicago and became a regular at Wrigley Field, earning the moniker “The Bleacher Preacher” for his efforts to convert non-believers to the Cubs. As “The Bleacher Preacher,” Pritikin wore a pith helmet with a solar-powered propeller; his antics included cavorting with a life-size voodoo doll that would be dressed up in the uniforms of opposing teams, and carrying around handmade signs including one fashioned after the Ten Commandments, inscribed “The Ten Cub-mandments,” and another which read, “How Do You Spell Belief? C-U-B-S!” While he has attended well over a thousand games, his most memorable one was on May 18, 1947 when he was on hand to see Jackie Robinson’s Chicago debut, and noticed many of the 47,000 fans brought binoculars that day to get a closer look at the future Hall of Famer and Shrine of the Eternals inductee.
Called “The #1 Cubs fan” by broadcaster Harry Caray, the 77-year-old Pritikin has been inducted into both the Chicago Senior Citizen Hall of Fame (2012) and the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame (2013), the latter for “excellence and courage as a sports fan, photojournalist, and advocate.” An early gay rights activist and close friend of Harvey Milk, Pritikin played on gay softball teams for over 30 years, finally hanging up the spikes last year. Among his fondest memories was in 1981 when he got former major leaguer and friend Glenn Burke to strike out swinging on his knuckleball. Pritikin regularly played in the annual Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association’s Senior Cup softball tournament, receiving the Oldest Active Player Award four times.
Established in 2002 to recognize individuals for their commitment to the preservation of baseball history, the Tony Salin Memorial Award is named in honor of the baseball historian, author, and Reliquarian who passed away in 2001. The 2014 Salin Award recipient, JERRY COHEN, founded Ebbets Field Flannels in 1988, a Seattle, Washington-based company which manufactures historically-inspired athletic apparel, ranging from handmade reproductions of vintage flannel baseball jerseys to T-shirts, baseball caps, and even grounds crew jackets and sweatshirts, all made with a high level of craftsmanship and respect for authenticity. Simultaneously, Cohen has been preserving the legacies and stories of obscure teams and leagues of the past that might otherwise have been forgotten. His apparel represents teams from the minor leagues, Negro Leagues, the short-lived Federal League of 1914-15, and often obscure independent and barnstorming teams like the House of David. The company’s handiwork was recently seen on the big screen, as Ebbets Field Flannels made all the minor league and Negro League uniforms for 42, the Jackie Robinson biopic.
At one time an aspiring rock musician, Cohen was born in Brooklyn the year after the Dodgers left the borough for Los Angeles. His work might best be described as “wearable history,” and his replicas are meticulously researched and often involve painstaking detective work, because hardly any original garments exist for the teams and all the photos are black and white. Ebbets Field Flannels currently offers over 400 different historic jerseys, and each one is created using authentic materials, with virtually everything crafted in the U.S. The same dedication goes into making their authentic ballcaps, each of which features wool broadcloth construction, soft crown, satin undervisor, and period-style felt lettering or embroidery. “We don’t follow trends, and we aren’t sitting around thinking of how we can create something to fit the current fashion market,” notes Cohen. “We look at history as our guide. And we see ourselves as archivists, and people who are trying to bring things forth out of history and turn it in to a living thing as authentically as possible, with as little interference from the original thing to the wearable item today. That’s not always what gets us the biggest selling product, but I think it’s what people respect and like about the brand.”
Both Jerry Pritikin and Jerry Cohen will attend the Shrine of the Eternals 2014 Induction Day in Pasadena, California to personally accept their awards.