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Hank Greenberg in 1938: April 22

Posted on: April 22nd, 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 Tigers dropped the third of their first four games, this time disappointing a home crowd of 54,000 by losing to the Cleveland Indians, 4-3. Greenberg hit an opposite field triple to lead off the fourth inning and scored on an error, his only offensive contribution in four at-bats.

One might think it surprising that Greenberg managed to leg out a three-bagger. After all, NY Giants manager John McGraw — who was always on the lookout for a Jewish player to increased the gate for that ethnic demographic — deemed the then-19-year-old too slow and awkward to sign with his team. But Greenberg averaged eight of ’em a season over his 13-year career with a high of 16 in 1935 and 14 two years later.

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

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