Sunday, April 22, 2007

Forty years ago: "Fore!"

I know what Ray Schalk did 40 years ago today. This is not a monumental development, but whenever I can pick up a tidbit about the off-the-field activities of the baseball Hall-of-Famer, I enter it on the spreadsheet I use to track his life events. These items can help me weave the story that I intend to make into a full biography.

Thanks to Google Alerts, I was directed to a brief mention of Schalk toward the end of a Daily Southtown article. I now know that Schalk, then 74, played a round of golf at his home course, the Beverly Country Club in south suburban Chicago, on April 22, 1967.

At first glance, there is nothing terribly significant in that -- except that his round with Chris Smits occurred the day after the course and its facilities were severely damaged in a killer tornado. Dozens were killed and hundreds injured -- many of the victims not far from the course.

Apparently Smits and Schalk played around the debris-strewn course, which had nearly three dozen of its large trees uprooted in the twister. They were the only golfers that day.

No word on Schalk's score.

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