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.

2 comments:

H. Lawrence said...

In 1948 when I was 16, my baseball team won the championship in a league sponsored by Ray Schalk. Schalk gave us a championship dinner in the restaurant attached to his bowling alley in Evergreen Park, IL. The surprise guest speaker was Ty Cobb. In introducing Cobb, Schalk pulled up one of his pants legs to show a long white scar, saying to Cobb, "That's where you spiked me, you bastard you!" Cobb said, "That was your fault--you got in my way." Both men laughed uproariously. From the looks of the scar, it wasn't so funny at the time the incident occurred. It was good to see these two, formerly fierce competitors, yakking it up, each with an arm around the other.

Brian Cooper said...

Thanks for the anecdote! I would like to speak with you further, as part of my Schalk biography. Would you be kind enough to contact me offline? bcooper@wcinet.com. Thanks!