The legacy of Hank Greenberg, an inspiration to millions of Jews during rampant anti-semitism during the 1930s and 40s, will be examined in a special lunch program at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center on Friday, April 26 at noon.
Greenberg endured rampant anti-Semitism in the 1930s, not unlike the racism Jackie Robinson experienced. Although not shown in “42,” Greenberg befriended Jackie in a brief encounter in 1947, his last season in baseball.
Discussing the life and legend of the Detroit Tigers slugger will be Aviva Kempner, award-winning filmmaker and director of The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg; and author John Rosengren, whose just-published biography about Greenberg, “The Hero of Heroes,” will be available at the Museum.
Director Kempner will also screen new extras from the new DVD of her Peabody award-winning documentary, which includes a phone interview with Ted Williams.
One of baseball’s most historically significant figures, the Bronx-born Greenberg was a two-time Most Valuable Player who led the American League in RBIs (183) in 1937 and home runs (58) in 1938. In 1940, he agreed to switch to the outfield from first base for the good of the team, a move that resulted in the Tigers winning the pennant. Yet he only played nine full seasons in a career shortened by his early entry into the Army in World War II.
Greenberg, who played in a time when a generation of Jews was struggling to find their way in the New World, would transform the way non-Jews viewed Jews – and the way Jews saw themselves.
Tickets to the luncheon and Greenberg program are $20, and includes tour of the Museum. The program is sponsored by The Forward. To RVSP call (973) 655-2378.