Monday, December 18, 2006

On the right track

A few weeks and a few hundred newspaper articles later, I am confident that Ray Schalk will be a viable subject for a full biography.

Though much of my free time the past four years has involved Red Faber, I can say with some confidence that Schalk was a better catcher than Faber was a pitcher. Both outstanding. Both Hall of Famers. But I found no newspaper articles from the first quarter of the 20th century, quoting baseball experts, that described Faber as the best player anywhere in his position. Many did say just that about Schalk.

My opinion about Schalk was reinforced by the acquisitions editor at McFarland & Co., which published my Faber biography. He thinks Schalk would be a "terrific" subject for a biography.

I hope that we're both right.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Researching

I spent a good chunk of the weekend after Thanksgiving poring through old newspapers (via the Internet) to research Ray Schalk.

There was plenty to be found, including:
  • Appearances in two World Series, including the tainted 1919 (Black Sox) affair.
  • The tributes from some of the game's greats, including Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and John McGraw, who rated Schalk the game's top catcher.
  • Catching a baseball dropped from the top of Tribune Tower.
  • His retirement endeavors as a college coach and bowling alley proprietor.
And more.

There is plenty of information available for a full biography of this Hall-of-Famer. Full speed ahead!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

About Ray Schalk

Ray Schalk (National Baseball Hall of Fame web site)

Ray "Cracker" Schalk
, was a member of the Chicago White Sox 17 of his 18 seasons in the major leagues, 1912-29. (He appeared in only 21 games in those last three seasons, including five games for the New York Giants in his final year.)

A gritty competitive and defensive standout, Schalk was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.

Here is a link to Schalk's major league playing statistics.

He managed the White Sox in 1927 and part of 1928.

Schalk was born Aug. 12, 1892, in Harvel, in downstate Illinois, and died May 19, 1970, in Chicago.