Sunday, October 03, 2010

Schalk honored by Litchfield


While researching my Ray Schalk biography, I observed to Litchfield civic leader Bill Dees that Litchfield is the boyhood home of a major league Hall of Famer but has nothing to inform visitors of this.

As local awareness of Schalk increased with release of my book, Dees was able to raise money to have a sign erected at the Litchfield city limits.

Dees today sent me this photo and this caption information:

Almost 95 years to the day after the first Ray Schalk Day in Litchfield (October 15, 1915) City of Litchfield Street Department workers Curt Evans, Jerry Hull and J.R. Beckham put the finishing touches on the installation of a sign recognizing the impact Ray Shalk had on future baseball players in Litchfield.

On May 8th 2010 a rededication plaque was unveiled at Ray Schalk Field. During this event a number of people indicated that the City needed a sign at the West edge of the City marking Mr. Schalk's entrance into Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Volunteer funds were received from the BRS Baseball Museum in Nokomis with the assistance of Steve Johnson, Litchfield Baseball, Litchfield Rotary, Litchfield Park District, Contemporary Service, Ben Schwab, Mike and Paula Hall, the Todd Neuhaus family, other anonymous donors along with the Author of the Ray Schalk biography, Brian Cooper.

Litchfield tourism director Carol Burke reviewed the graphic and local sign artist Jerry Dever produced the paint on aluminum sign with the assistance of the George Press Inc. and MD Designs by Metal D├ęcor.

It was nice of Dees to mention me, and to credit others involved, but this would not have happened without former Mayor Dees taking the lead.