Sunday, January 21, 2007

Research boost

My intermittent research into my next biography subject, Ray Schalk, received a boost this weekend.

The wife of a Schalk relative mailed me a stack of photocopies. They were of all of the newspaper articles her husband had in his scrapbook concerning the late Hall of Famer.

Several of the articles, primarily those from the Chicago Tribune, I already had. However, there were many articles that I might never have uncovered. Particularly illuminating were those from his hometown paper in Litchfield, Ill. (Schalk was born in nearby Harvel and grew up in Litchfield.) The articles recounted Schalks early years and contained several details that can help round out a book. "Little things," such as the name, location and condition of the ballfield in Litchfield and the name of his first semi-pro team, the Arcos.

Also in the stack were articles from Schalk's days at manager in Buffalo and Milwaukee -- including a feature story on Schalk's wife.

This type of assistance is so important, and so appreciated. It helps build the foundation for telling the story of Schalk's boyhood and his family.