Pollack, Morris 'Mushy' : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Pollack, Morris 'Mushy'

Pollack, a back on the University of California football team in the mid-1930s, helped the football team finish No. 2 in the country in 1937. That year, he was named first team Jewish All-America by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Mushy was also the captain of the Cal track team in 1938 and ran the 100-yard dash in 9.6.

Birth and Death Dates:

Career Highlights:
Pollack played at California in the mid-1930s. He matriculated in 1934 and played on the freshman team, which finished the year 6-0-0, outscoring their opponents 175-13! Pollack and his freshman teammates then moved up to the varsity team in 1935 and were the nucleus of future Bears' teams.

During the 1935 season, Mushy played (but did not letter) as Cal finished with a record of 9-1-0, with their only loss to Stanford, 13-0. In 1936, Pollack intercepted a pass against Washington State at his own 39-yard line and used his great speed to cut diagonally across the field, returning the ball to the Washington State six-yard line. Cal scored on the next series of downs, but lost the game, 14-13. Although the Bears won their next three games, including a 13-7 win over No. 11 USC, they finished the season with a record of 6-5-0 (4-3-0, 4th in the PCC).

In 1937, Pollack and the Bears vastly improved to become one of college football's top teams. In the second game of the year, Mushy scored on a 45-yard run against Oregon State in Cal's 24-6 win. In the next game, he threw a fourth quarter touchdown pass against Washington State as the Bears won the game, 27-0. Nicknamed the "Thunder Team," Cal rolled through the regular season and were ranked No. 1 in the nation following the sixth game of the season (a 20-6 win over No. 11 USC). The following week the Golden Bears held onto their No. 1 ranking by defeating UCLA, 27-14 (the most points Cal allowed all season), but they then tied Washington, 0-0, in the next game. Unfortunately, the tie dropped them to No. 2 in the rankings, where they remained for the rest of the year.

California finished the regular season with a record of 9-0-1, outscoring their opponents 201-33 with six shutouts. In the Rose Bowl, they faced No. 4 Alabama, led by All-America guard (and team captain) Leroy Monsky. The Bears defeated the Crimson Tide, 13-0, to finish the season undefeated and No. 2, behind undefeated No. 1 Pittsburgh (9-0-1), led by All-America back Biggie Goldberg
San Diego, California

Career Dates:
Pollack played as a back at California from 1936-1937.

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)66 Years on the California Gridiron by S. Dan Brodie (Oakland: The Olympic Publishing Co., 1949)
66 Years on the California Gridiron by S. Dan Brodie (Oakland: The Olympic Publishing Co., 1949)
The YMHA Bulletin, November 26, 1937