Former Cleveland second baseman Ray Mack passes away at the age of 52.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 31, 1916, Mack got to spend the bulk of his early years right in northeast Ohio. He attended John Adams High School and later advanced to the Case Institute of Applied Sciences (now Case Western Reserve University) in Cleveland.
He started his professional career in his hometown, debuting with the Indians on September 9, 1938, just nine days after his 22nd birthday. He played just one more game that season and 36 the next before becoming a regular in the Cleveland lineup in 1940. That season, he made his lone trip to the Midsummer’s Classic while hitting a career-best .283 with 150 hits (21 doubles, five triples, 12 homers), 60 runs scored, and 69 runs batted in.
He would work as the club’s regular second baseman over the first four years of that decade before playing just a half season’s worth of games in 1944. He missed 1945 after enlisting in the Army in April (he was discharged in November). He returned to the Tribe and played in 61 games in 1946 before he was involved in a very important trade for Cleveland in the offseason. He was dealt to the New York Yankees for three players – pitchers Gene Bearden and Al Gettel and outfielder Hal Peck, all of whom would contribute to the Indians’ pennant pursuits in 1948.