Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sox FanFest

My weekend activities centered around the Chicago White Sox FanFest, where I volunteered a shift at the booth for the proposed Chicago Baseball Museum, and sold a few copies of the Red Faber biography. A high school classmate, Dr. David Fletcher, is the president and founder of the museum, a 501(c)3 organization. "Doc" and fellow organizers hope to construct the museum on the Far West Side of Chicago (about equidistant from Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park -- er, U.S. Cellular Field).

My time at the museum booth went quickly, thanks to (from left) Amber, Matt and Sharon (Matt's Mom). I also lined up a Faber book-signing with the Chicago Old Timers' Baseball Association and introduced myself to Rich Linderg, the White Sox historian, who was supportive and complimentary of the the Faber book.

With that bit of business taken care of, I managed to squeeze in a couple of hours of Ray Schalk research at the Chicago Public Library. I pored over microfilm of Chicago newspapers (except the Chicago Tribune, which I can view online, thanks to Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque).

There were no "Ah Ha!" moments derived from the clippings, but I will now be able to piece together a chronology of the days immediately before, during and after Schalk's purchase by the White Sox and his major league debut. For example, Schalk was with his Milwaukee team in Louisville when his contract was sold to the White Sox. He reported to Chicago the next day, asked for and received permission to hurry home to Milwaukee to retrieve his personal possessions and returned to Chicago in time to play the first game of a doubleheader the day after that. He singled in the ninth inning of his major league debut. Not exciting stuff, but it helps put a few pieces together.

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