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 Tiger broke out of their offensive doldrums, picking up their first win of the year, 9-3, over the host Chicago White Sox. It took a few innings to get going, but the Bengals (as they were also called at the time) scored twice in the fifth, once in the sixth, four times in the seventh, and finished it up with two more tallies in the ninth.
Greenberg hit his second home run — another solo shot — to lead off the sixth. And it wasn’t just your routine dinger: The Hebrew Hammer became just the second batter to hit one completely out of Comiskey Park. Rival slugger Jimmie Foxx accomplished the feat two years earlier. Greenberg also singled and walked twice (once intentionally) in five plate appearances.
Although the song “Goodbye, Mr. Ball” wasn’t written until Greenberg had joined the Pittsburgh Pirates for the 1947 season, the song — sung here by Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx — seems appropriate to include, so enjoy.
Click on the book above to visit the Amazon page for Hank Greenberg in 1938.