Friday, July 25, 2008

Schalk and Faber statue-worthy


Steve on CHICAGO SPORTS LIVE takes issue with the Chicago White Sox' selection of former players to honor with statues at Comiskey Park U.S. Cellular Field.

On his list of players more deserving -- topping it, in fact -- is Ray Schalk.

Schalk, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame on this date 53 years ago, receives short shrift because of his low .253 batting average. Some "experts" don't look past that to consider his other attributes, starting with his defense, his hustle and his handling of pitchers (and, some might say, umpires).

Schalk is in the Hall of Fame and he doesn't need me to make his case. But he caught more than 100 games a year (when the seasons were 140-154 games) for 11 straight years. While being a workhorse, he suffered numerous broken fingers, bruises, etc., and kept at it. Playing hurt that often can't help one's batting average.

Anyway, considering how Schalk is so often overlooked, it is nice to see that Steve remembers.

I would add to his list Ted Lyons and Red Faber, still No. 1 and No. 2 on the Sox' all-time victories list.