Hank Greenberg

Hank Greenberg

Fast Facts:

Played 13 seasons in Major League Baseball. 12 in Detroit & 1 in Pittsburgh.

Named to the All-Star team 4 times (1937-1940).

Won 2 Most Valueable Player Awards (1935 & 1940) playing 2 different defensive positions, 1st base and left field.

Led his league in Home Runs (4x), Runs Batted In (4x), Total Bases (2x), Doubles (2x), Walks (2x), Runs (1x), and Strikeouts (1x).

Voted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1956. The first player of Jewish faith to be so honored.

Went to 4 World Series (1934, 1935, 1940, and 1945) & won 2 (1935 & 1945) with the Detroit Tigers.

Sent Detroit to the 1945 World Series with a Grand Slam in the ninth inning of the last game of the year.

Volunteered for the US Army immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He served until June 1945 missing most of 4 seasons. His 47 months in the service was longer than any other MLB player.

Faced daily ridicule from opposing players and fans for his Jewish heritage.

After retiring as a player, he worked his way into being the General Manager of the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.

“Sure, there was added pressure being Jewish. How the hell could you get up to home plate every day and have some son of a bitch call you a Jew bastard and a kike and a sheenie and get on your ass without feeling the pressure. If the ballplayers weren’t doing it, the fans were. I used to get frustrated as hell. Sometimes I wanted to go up in the stands and beat the shit out of them.”

Hank Greenberg, Hank Greenberg: My Story, p. 110, 1989.