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Eternal love 
Rachel Robinson joins husband Jackie in Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals

Joining an eclectic array of figures who are historically acclaimed for their contributions to baseball both on and off the field, Rachel Robinson was elected to the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals on April 30. 

Chosen along with former major-league player and manager Don Zimmer and the perennially popular pitcher Dizzy Dean, Robinson will officially be inducted at the Shrine’s annual ceremony on July 20 at the Pasadena Central Library’s Donald R. Wright Auditorium. 

The Reliquary, said organization head and Pasadena resident Terry Cannon, is “dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history,” and the Shrine serves as its Hall of Fame. 

While there is no full-time, brick-and-mortar location for the Reliquary or Shrine, the induction ceremony draws large crowds each year and the Reliquary site (baseballreliquary.org) hosts onsite tributes to inductees. 

Rachel Robinson was regarded as “Jackie’s tower to lean on” by former Dodger executive Branch Rickey and the Reliquary regards her as “arguably the most important woman in baseball history.” 

In addition to supporting Jackie while he was alive, she kept his legacy alive by founding the New York-based Jackie Robinson Foundation, a nonprofit with the mandate of providing college scholarships and leadership training to promising and talented young people.
Voting was conducted by the “several hundred” nationwide members of the Reliquary, who were provided voting packets containing a ballot and a program booklet that provided information on each possible inductee. Members are allowed to vote for up to nine nominees annually, with the top three vote-getters receiving induction honors. 

“It usually takes years of  repeat voting for someone to get inducted, but Rachel was voted in on her first time,” says Cannon. “Jackie and Rachel are now both members of the shrine, which is a really fitting honor, and best of all the induction comes just a day after her 92nd birthday.” — Carl Kozlowski

Chrome-plated victory
Kentucky Derby win puts Santa Anita’s own California Chrome in the national spotlight 

After winning the Santa Anita Derby on April 5, hot horse California Chrome proved itself a winner again last Saturday when, taking the 140th annual Kentucky Derby by 1 ¾ lengths and capturing its $1.4-million first-place prize.
Jockey Victor Espinoza rode the stallion to victory in both races, making the horse a favorite in a shot at racing’s Triple Crown as it gears up to compete in both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes in the coming weeks. 

California Chrome’s victory was a real Cinderella story. The horse’s owners, Perry Martin and Steve Coburn, are a couple of working-class guys who bred two relatively inexpensive horses — an $8,000 mare and a $2,500 stallion — to achieve first-class results in a sport in which owners often spend millions to breed a winner. 

The victory was also particularly sweet for the horse’s 77-year-old trainer Art Sherman, who won his first Derby after 59 years in the business. 

California Chrome faces its next challenge May 17 at the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore.

“It helped our business quite a bit,” said Nate Newby, vice president of marketing at Santa Anita Park. “We had over 26,000 fans, with a large percentage rooting on California Chrome. It was the first time Santa Anita had live racing on Kentucky Derby day, and versus Hollywood Park last year, we were up 41 percent on track wagering and attendance was up 158 percent. We’re very optimistic about Preakness day. He won his last three pre-Derby races here at Santa Anita, so we expect a lot of turnout support on May 17.”  — CK

A Hole-in-two
Popular Pie Hole restaurant opens second Pasadena location

Proving that the American Dream can come true even amid rough economic conditions, the mother-son team of Becky Grasley and Matthew Heffner just announced the opening of the second location of their Pie Hole chain.
Building on the success of a location in downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, the new spot at 59 E. Colorado Blvd. offers sweet and savory pies along with other baked items. 

The goodies complement a coffee program featuring house blends which are organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified and then roasted to exact specifications. 

For more information, visit thepieholela.com. — CK 

Got news for the Bulletin Board? New business opening, special recognition, or other community-oriented news item? Submit to KevinU@pasadenaweekly.com

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