The wailing hall
Lito A. Tacujan (The Philippine Star) - November 25, 2018 - 12:00am


It is irresistibly ready to turn – have fun on pun –  from Hall of Fame to Hall of Shame,  as the PSC enshrinement rites for the new batch of 10 Filipino greats went wrong Thursday night.

They hung the wrong photo of one of the inductees – baseball legend Filomeno ‘Boy’ Codiñera and one wonders how the organizers could have made a huge blunder after months of painstaking research in choosing the brand-new cast of Filipino heroes as mandated by law.

And of all people, why Boy Codiñera, the quintessential baseball icon. He was one of the pillars of the Canlubang Barons dynastic reign who simply basked in the glow of accolades – breaching the Guinness Book of Records for seven consecutive doubles during the 1968 Men’s World Softball Championship for one.

Why Boy Codiñera whose love for sports was legendary? In fact, bound to a wheelchair due to a massive stroke , Boy was assisted by his sons and friends as he received the PSA Lifetime Achievement Award a couple of years ago, an occasion he would never miss.

They lined up the images of other honorees – Paeng Nepomuceno, Lydia de Vega Mercado, Josephine dela Vina, Bong Coo, Lita dela Rosa, Ben Arda, Loreto Carbonel, Ambrosio Padilla, Erbito (not Ernesto) Salavarria.

The organizers could have erred on any of these guys but not on Boy Codiñera, whose passion for the game never ebbed until his death at age 77.

He was popular among the sports scribes of another era, a friend and a comrade to those who love baseball that son Jerry, the former PBA star, could only shake his head in disbelief as the photo of Pepe Pinga took Boy’s place, stressing it was one big mistake right on the nose.

“Sa ilong palang alam mo hindi si Papa ito (by the nose you know it’s not Papa),” said Jerry Codiñera.

Still it was a memorable evening that brought the glory years of Philippine sports through the feats of the inductees.

Save for the gaffe on Boy Codiñera. And how serious and galling was the blunder?

It could be likened to striking out at full count, or hitting a long foul ball with the bases loaded or stretching a steal from third base and sliding short of the plate and watching the umpire eyeball-to- eyeball you and yelling ‘YERR OUT!!!’.

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