Greenberg, Hank : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Greenberg, Hank

Henry Benjamin Greenberg

Greenberg was the first Jewish ballplayer ever elected to the Hall Of Fame (in 1956). When Hank didn't play on Yom Kippur, it was national news. The legendary first baseman once hit 58 homers in a season, and in another, drove in 183 runs (second-highest in American League history, to Lou Gehrig's 184). One of the greatest right-handed sluggers in the history of the game, Greenberg valued runs batted in more than any other statistic, because he felt it reflected the greatest contribution to the team. After his playing career, he became the General Manager of the Cleveland Indians, then a part-owner of the Chicago White Sox.

In 2000, Aviva Kempner directed an award-winning documentary entitled The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg; click here to learn more about the film.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. January 1, 1911 - d. September 4, 1986

Career Highlights:
Hank was the first player to win the American League's Most Valuable Player award at two different positions (he selflessly learned to play the outfield so that teammate Rudy York could play first base). He drove in over 100 runs 7 times, including seasons of 183, 170, 150, 146, 139 and 127. He led the American League in home runs four times, in RBI four times, in doubles twice, in walks twice, and in runs scored once. Greenberg's career percentages for slugging (.605) and for home runs are among the highest ever. Hank played in four World Series, with a batting average of .318 and a slugging percentage of .624, hitting a home run in every series he played. He accomplished all of this while missing three full seasons and parts of two others serving his country in World War II.

Career Dates:
1933-47. Played one game in 1930, but broke into the majors in 1933. Missed 1942-44 and parts of '41 and '45 fighting WWII.

Position:
First base and the outfield.

Physical description:
6'3 1/2", 210 pounds
Right-handed

Career Statistics:
Games: 1394
Batting Avg.: .313
Slugging Avg.: .605

At-bats: 5193
Hits: 1628
Doubles: 379
Triples: 71

Home Runs: 331
Home Run %: 6.4
Runs: 1051
RBI: 1296

BB: 852
Strike Outs: 844
Stolen Bases: 58

Pinch Hitting
At-bats: 16
Hits: 3

Fielding Statistics
Put-outs: 11023
Assists: 741
Errors: 122
Double-plays: 974

Total Chances per Game: 8.6
Fielding Avg: .990



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References:
Also, read a chapter from Jewish Baseball Stars by Harold U. Ribalow and Meir Z. Ribalow