Year Inducted: 1993
Ralph MacSweyn, one of the area's greatest hockey players, will be inducted into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame at the annual Induction Dinner September 8 in Maxville. To call Ralph an 'award-winning' athlete in an understatement.
Ralph's sports achievement resumé is studded with most valuable player and other impressive awards. From winning the Glengarry Soccer League's MVP in 1961 while an 18-year-old playing for McCrimmon, to being presented with the Jim McCaffrey Memorial Trophy in 1969, Ralph MacSweyn has earned a multitude of honors.
Born in 1942, the third child of Ella and Donald MacSweyn, Ralph obtained his first pair of skates at the age of five. He learned to skate on the river that ran through the family farm, and on the outdoor rink that his grandfather, Dan (Mulligan) MacDonell was instrumental in making and maintaining each year.
Playing with boys much older than himself, Ralph was relegated to the position of goalie. He excelled in nets and remained a goaltender until the age of 17, when he started his career as a defenceman.
Perhaps it was his early netminding that made Richmond Robins coach, Eddie Busch comment, "Having MacSweyn on the ice is like having a second goaltender, he blocks so many shots." As a defenceman Ralph played for a variety of teams: Eastview in the Ottawa Jr. League, Lancaster Dodgers in the Ottawa Valley Senior League, and Johnston Jets in the semi-professional Eastern Hockey League. In the late 70's Ralph had the distinction of being selected to the Alltime Jets team as a first team defenceman.
During 1967-68, the Philadelphia Flyers offered Ralph a contract and assigned him to their top farm team in Quebec - the Aces- where he remained for four seasons. Called up by the Flyers on numerous occasions during these years, Ralph was named second star in games against the Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Make Leafs.
In 1972-73, Ralph was selected first in the World Hockey League draft by the Los Angeles Sharks where he played for two years. Ralph ended his professional hockey career playing for the Vancouver Blazers, where he was clearly a crowd-pleaser. Known as 'Big Mac' he won the 'Fans' Favorite Player' award for his hard-hitting defensive play.
Today Ralph farms on the Dunvegan Road. He is still involved in hockey - as a coach for his daughter's team in the RCAFA Girls' Hockey Association in Cornwall.
For his excellence as an athlete, bringing honors to his family and his county, Ralph will become a member of the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame.