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
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.
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.
First base and the outfield.
6'3 1/2", 210 pounds
Batting Avg.: .313
Slugging Avg.: .605
Home Runs: 331
Home Run %: 6.4
Strike Outs: 844
Stolen Bases: 58
Total Chances per Game: 8.6
Fielding Avg: .990
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Also, read a chapter from Jewish Baseball Stars by Harold U. Ribalow and Meir Z. Ribalow