Issue Date: July 15, 2006
City: Bronx, NY
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Printing method: Photogravure
Perforations: Die cut 10 ¾
Henry Benjamin Greenberg (1911-86), baseball’s first Jewish superstar, was born in New York. In high school, Greenberg was an all-around athlete, but his favorite sport was baseball. Big for his age, he practiced hard to overcome the awkwardness he felt.
Greenberg was 19 when he signed with the Detroit Tigers (1930-46). After three years in the farm system, he moved up to the majors. He played first base for seven years, then went to left field.
A powerful slugger, Greenberg earned the nickname “Hammerin’ Hank.” Even though he had only nine full seasons, he had a career total of 331 home runs and averaged more than 141 runs batted-in per year played.
Greenberg enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the first American League player to enlist. The 34-year-old war hero returned in 1945 and hit a home run in his first game back. His grand slam on the last day of that season won the pennant for the Tigers.
Hank Greenberg played in four World Series (1934-35, 1940, 1945) and on five All-Star teams (1937-40, 1945). Joe DiMaggio said of Greenberg, “He was one of the truly great hitters, and when I first saw him at bat, he made my eyes pop out.”