Tigers to commemorate Hank Greenberg, celebrate Jewish Heritage Sunday at Comerica Park
DETROIT — Eighty years after Hank Greenberg’s legendary decision not to play on the Jewish High Holidays in a pennant chase, the Detroit Tigers will hold Jewish Heritage Sunday at Comerica Park.
Nicknamed “The Hebrew Hammer,” and the first Jewish ballplayer to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Greenberg was a four-time All-Star and a two-time American League MVP with the Tigers. His No. 5 is retired by the club.
Greenberg chose to play on Rosh Hashanah, and hit two home runs in a 2-1 win over Boston, putting the Tigers 4 1/2 games up, but did not play on Yom Kippur, a 5-2 loss to the Yankees. The Tigers went on to win the 1934 pennant — their first in 25 seasons — by seven games, before losing to the Cardinals in the World Series.
After his playing days, he was also the general manager and part-owner of the Cleveland Indians, the Tigers’ opponent on Sunday afternoon. (He later was the GM and part-owner of the Chicago White Sox, as well.)
A donation will be made to the Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation for each upper box infield or upper reserve ticket sold.
John Rosengren, who penned “Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes,” will be on hand selling copies of his book, as will Aviva Kempner, the director and producer of the film “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg.”