One of three members of the infamous White Sox squad in 1919 that threw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds that survived the scandal and ended up in the Hall of Fame. He, Eddie Collins and Red Faber went on to complete their careers, while Shoeless Joe Jackson and Eddie Cicotte weren't so fortunate. The other six men out - Swede Risberg, Buck Weaver, Hap Felsch, Chick Gandil, Lefty Williams and Fred McMullin - included some stars but no real Hall of Fame candidates.
Schalk was perhaps the most honest member of that tainted White Sox squad. In Game 1, when Sox ace Eddie Cicotte allowed five runs on five straight hits with two down in the fourth inning, Schalk publicly questioned his pitcher about why he wasn't following his signals. In Game 2, Sox manager Kid Gleason instructed Schalk to watch Lefty Williams closely, and Schalk's fury at Williams for losing that contest and repeatedly crossing him up on signals was such that he waited for the pitcher under the grandstand after the game and assaulted him, pummeling him with his fists until he was pulled off.
An average hitter (his lifetime batting average was just .253, and his lifetime slugging percentage and on-base average were .316 and .340 respectively), Schalk got paid for his defense. He holds the record for most double plays by a catcher with 226. Despite his diminutive size, his physical agility made him a defensive standout and he was the first receiver to back up plays at first and third. In fact, he even made putouts at second base.
Ray Schalk proved his mettle by catching 100 games in each of 12 seasons (11 in a row).
Picture from National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.
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