Hank Greenberg in 1938: April 19

Posted on: April 19th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan


Welcome to a new feature for the Korner.

Since this is the 80th anniversary of Hank Greenberg’s challenge to Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record of 60 which the Bambino set in 1927, I thought I’d engage in a little SSP (shameless self-promotion) with a daily “update” of the games during that season to give you a taste of my book on the subject. Not exactly sure where this will lead or even if I’ll see it through, but on this date in 1938

The Detroit Tigers opened the season against the White Sox in Chicago. Greenberg — batting in the cleanup spot — walked in his first plate appearance in the first inning, following a single by Charlie Gehringer. The Tigers failed to take advantage and did not score. The White Sox pushed a run across in the bottom of the second for a 1-0 lead. Greenberg ended the top of the third with a fly out.

The Tigers tied the game in the fourth when Johnny Whitehead drove in Rudy York, who had walked to start the frame. But the Sox came right back with three of their own to stretch their lead to 4-1.

The Hebrew Hammer, who blasted 40 home runs in 1937, knocked his first one over the fence in the fifth to put Detroit on the scoreboard. But the excitement ended there. He grounded out to third to lead off the eighth in his final at-bat.

Click on the image to visit the Amazon page for Hank Greenberg in 1938.

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