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July 28, 2014

Alumnus Professional Baseball Player Ray Mack

With the exciting news that junior pitcher Rob Winemiller was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays we remember alumnus Ray Mack (formerly known as Mlckovsky), a former Major League player.

Ray Mlckovsky received the B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Case School of Applied Science in 1938. He received the Honor Key and won an Athletic Medal. Mack was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Blue Key, Case Senate, Interfraternity Council, and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. As a student-athlete he earned 3 letters each in football and basketball, also winning the first Les Bale ‘09 award. Case did not have varsity baseball at the time Mack was a student, so he played amateur baseball in Cleveland.

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Ray Mlckovsky (Ray Mack) in his senior year

He played in his first major league game 9/9/1938 (Cleveland vs. Detroit). He appeared in 1 other game that year and 36 in 1939 before his first complete season in 1940. In 1939 Mack played for Buffalo in the International League, teaming with Lou Boudreau for the double-play combination. He and Boudreau continued to play with each other for the Cleveland Indians. Mack was chosen for the 1940 All-Star game.

According to the Case Alumnus, “During the off-seasons, Mack held engineering jobs at the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and Lamson and Sessions. In 1941, he took a part-time position in war work at Thompson Products and entered the army in 1945. In 1946, Mack rejoined the Indians and played with them throughout the season. In the winter he was traded to the New York Yankees, later played with the Newark, N.J. club and near the end of 1947, went to the Chicago Cubs. He retired from baseball in the spring of 1948 to become a sales engineer at the Browning Crane and Shovel Co.”

Mack was born 8/31/1916 in Cleveland, Ohio and died 5/7/1969 in Bucyrus Ohio. His son, Tom, played football for the Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

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July 10, 2014

Campus in July

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Campus in summer, 1972

Many consider July the quietest month on campus - classes are not in session, people go on vacation, not many major events are held. But there’s a, perhaps, surprising amount of activity during this quiet month.

University staff with finance responsibilities are busy closing the books on the just-ended fiscal year. As the Archives is located in the same buidling as the Controller’s Office, we see them in the halls. I would never describe my colleagues as haggard, but there are signs that some of these folks may be putting in long hours. Faculty are planning fall classes, writing and continuing their research. Most of us are doing annual reports. Many of us are catching up on projects postponed from the previous academic year or getting ready for the coming academic year.

Many changes take effect in July, especially July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. Case Western Reserve University was created July 1, 1967. The Colleges, combining the undergraduate colleges Western Reserve College and Case Institute of Technology, was created July 1, 1987. It was “uncreated” five years later, again on July 1, when it was separated into the College of Arts and Sciences and the Case School of Engineering.

July often has seen the start of campus building and renovation projects. In 1985 the first phase renovation of the Emerson Physical Education Center, later renamed the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center, started in July. Smaller projects have also been done: restoration of the windows of Amasa Stone Chapel in 1999, installation of the clock on the exterior of the Biomedical Research Building in 1992. Although, it may not be accurate to characterize a 16-foot tall, one-ton clock as a small project.

Major initiatives are frequently announced in July, even though they begin months later. Both the first and final phases of CWRU’s no smoking policies were announced in July - in 1987 and 1989. CWRU’s campus-wide Community Service Day, scheduled in September, was announced in July 2003.

Although fewer in number than during, say, April, events large and small have been held in July. In the 19th century, Commencement was often in July. More recently Party on the Quad has usually been held in July. In 1988 stamp collectors gathered on campus in July for the unveiling of a stamp honoring Dr. Harvey W. Cushing.

I’ve become more aware of these events recently as I’ve begun tweeting what I think of as Days in the Life of CWRU. It has been something of a challenge to find events for every day in July, and some days defeated me. My goal is to share some event during the university’s life for as many days as possible in the next year. The University’s history is not the sole property of the University Archives, of course, so I hope others will join in - #cwruhistory.

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