Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tidbits among the reels

Though my time for such work has been limited, I took a day off Friday (I was "on duty" Saturday) and spent it researching Ray Schalk at the Chicago Public Library.

After about six hours of poring over a hot microfilm reader, I had a few dozen articles from Chicago newspapers (the ones I can't access over the Internet through the Carnegie-Stout subscription to ProQuest Historical Newspapers) about one of the greatest catchers ever.

I found sportswriter Bill Gleason's recollection in the Sun-Times of visiting Schalk's home for an informal get-together that included three aging Hall-of-Famers -- Schalk, Red Faber and special guest Ty Cobb.

I located more information about the tragic death of Schalk's son, Ray Jr., who took his own life just a few months before his father died.

My account of the brazen robbery of Schalk's bowling alley in 1948 -- during which the criminals locked up Schalk, his wife and a couple of dozen employees -- will be more descriptive now that I know the make of Schalk's car (which the robbers also stole).

There are just a few of the tidbits from that fuzzy microfilm that I hope to bring into focus in the Schalk biography.

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