Hammerin' Hank Greenberg: Baseball Pioneer
Boyds Mills Press, 2011 (2011)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
ell illustrated with many black and white photos, this biography chronicles the playing history of the first Jewish baseball hall-of-famer.
ot only did he have to battle opposing pitchers who sought to strike him out, but the Detroit Tiger player of Romanian-Jewish descent also had to deal with anti-Semitism both on and off the field.
his book, written for youngsters ten years of age and up, follows Hank from his days playing stick ball on the streets of the Bronx to his school days and semiprofessional play for the Bay Parkways, a Brooklyn based team.
lthough he had hoped to play for the Yankees, Greenberg signed with Detroit when they offered him $9,000, which was a considerable sum of money for the time.
ver his career as a player Greenberg hit 331 home runs, was twice named as the American League's Most Valuable Player, and was a five time All Star. During World War II he served in the military and after he retired, Hammerin' Hank moved into the front office. He was the director of the Cleveland Indian's farm system and then the team's general manager.
oung and old baseball fans alike will enjoy this overview of Greenberg's career and find the discussion of the age in which he played interesting and informative. Besides Greenberg, the author fleetingly touches on other players such as Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and members of the Tiger's championship teams.
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