In this industry, someone is always looking for something. Most of the time the quest is to help fill out a collection or grab a piece of a favorite player growing up. In this instance, it’s much more personal.
Longtime SCD contributor Rick Firfer directed my attention to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune by Emily Harris about a woman’s quest to hear the voice of her father, who passed away when she was 3.
However, Leigh Ann Young’s dad wasn’t a singer, but rather former ballplayer, coach and manager Verlon “Rube” Walker. Walker was probably best known as a coach for the Chicago Cubs from 1961 until he died in 1971, at age 42.
What she truly wants is to hear is his voice, something she has been searching for over the past two years. She’s hoping someone, somewhere has a taped interview with Walker or even a clip from television.
“Losing a parent at a young age is an experience that shapes your whole life,” Young said in the Tribune story. “It has shaped mine. I wonder who I would have been if I’d grown up with him? I think a small part of all daughters who grow up without their fathers, even if they go on to have happy lives of their own, always wonder this. The void never goes away.”
Young has created a blog of the memories she does have, along with some family history at baseballlovestory.com. You can read more about her quest there.
I have reached out to Leigh Ann and told her I’d share her story here. If someone has an audio recording of Rube Walker or can point us in the right direction, please contact Leigh Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is very appreciative of any guidance.