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Archive for the ‘My Hank Greenberg book’ Category

 

Oh, the places you’ll go

Posted on: October 5th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Had a great time in Old London Town last week. Tried to get some baseball stuff going over there, but it was a fool’s errand. The British Baseball Federation website had an address that was years-old. I found that out the hard way, making a trip out there in hopes of exchanging a copy of 501 Baseball Books for a team cap. Alas, ’twas not to be.

But I did give a the book to the Kennsington Hotel library, so I was able to accomplish at least part of my “mission.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While at the Kennsington, my wife and I thought we might try to go to a local synagogue. As we used the hotel computer to search for something suitable (we neglected to bring along clothing appropriate to going to shul), we also made the acquaintance of Ken and Lynn Tepper, a lovely couple from Toronto who overheard out conversation. Landsmen! Ken asked if I happened to be the Ron Kaplan who wrote Hank Greenberg in 1938, which he had read. In addition, his son — who participated and coached in several Maccabiah Games for Team Canada — had read my book on the history of that institution. Small world.

Our encounter reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, That Thing You Do, when Guy Patterson, the group’s drummer meets his idol, legendary jazz man Del Paxton who’s playing at an LA club. The cocktail waitress, brings him over to Paxton and some cronies, saying, “This kid has actually heard of you.”

Hank Greenberg in 1938: May 2

Posted on: May 2nd, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

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 topic. Not exactly sure where this will lead or even if I’ll see it through, but on this date in 1938

Image result for harry eisenstatThe host Cleveland Indians scored 10 runs in the fourth inning to maul the Tigers, 11-3. Most of the runs came off  Harry Eisenstat, making his second appearance of the season. He came in with two runners on base, allowed both of them to score, and then gave up five runs of his own, retiring just one batter before he was pulled with an ERA of 23.14.

Greenberg was 1-for-3 with a walk.

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

Hank Greenberg in 1938: April 26

Posted on: April 26th, 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 topic. Not exactly sure where this will lead or even if I’ll see it through, but on this date in 1938

Make that two in a row. The Tigers beat the host St. Louis Browns, 7-1. Greenberg was 1-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI, the first of the year that did not come as a result of a home run.

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

Hank Greenberg in 1938: April 23

Posted on: April 23rd, 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’ record fell to 1-4 following their 6-3 loss to the visiting Cleveland Indians. Greenberg was hitless in five trips to the plate, striking out twice.

Unlike Ruth, who claimed he did everything big — hit big or miss big, he enjoyed telling the sportswriters — Greenberg felt a sense of shame when he fanned, so doing it twice in a single game must have stuck in his craw. In 13 years, he struck out 844 times. These days a hitter like Mark Reynolds can rack up that amount in about four seasons.

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

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.

Hank Greenberg in 1938: April 21

Posted on: April 21st, 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 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.

Image result for hank greenberg, groucho marx,

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

Hank Greenberg in 1938: April 20

Posted on: April 20th, 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

Greenberg was 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout as the Tigers dropped their dropped another one-run decision to the host White Sox, this time by a score of 4-3. He made the final outs of the first, third, and fifth inning, all with men on base, any of which might have weighed heavily in a final outcome.

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

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.

Shameless self-promotion: Upcoming Hank Greenberg events

Posted on: July 12th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

I’ve been looking to participate in Gelf Magazine’s “Varsity Letters” program for years. The dream comes true July 24. Hope to see you there. Here are the details:

Varsity Letters logo Baseball Night

Varsity Letters is back at The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge on Monday, July 24, with four authors of recently released books about baseball:

• Sports Illustrated writer Jay Jaffe, author of The Cooperstown Casebook: Who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques

Ron Kaplan, author of Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War

• MLB.com executive reporter Mark Feinsand, author of The New York Yankees Fans’ Bucket List

• Faith and Fear in Flushing blogger Greg Prince, author of Piazza: Catcher, Slugger, Icon, Star

Graphics by Mister Lister.

Event Details:

The Gallery at LPR (Official site, map)
158 Bleecker St. (between Sullivan St. and Thompson St.)
New York, NY 10012
Blocks from ACE/BDF/MNR/1/6 trains

Doors open at 7.
Event starts at 7:30.
There is no admission charge.
Attendees must be 21 or older, as per Le Poisson Rouge rules. (Email varsityletters@gmail.com if you are under 21 and would like to attend. The farther in advance, the better; no guarantees.)

Baseball Hall of FameThen, on August 16 at 1 p.m., I’ll be serving as “closer” for the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Annual “Author’s Series.” From the Hall’s announcement:

Our Authors Series brings noted baseball authors to Cooperstown for special lectures and book signings during the summer months. These programs are included with the cost of admission.

On Wednesday, August 16th at 1pm, the Hall of Fame will welcome author Ron Kaplan as he talks about his new book, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.

From his first day in the big leagues, Hank Greenberg dealt with persecution for being Jewish. The Hall of Famer always did his best to shut out the bigotry, but in 1938, that would prove more difficult then he could have imagined.

Author Ron Kaplan examines Greenberg’s 1938 season in incredible detail. While Greenberg was battling at the plate, the Jewish people overseas were dealing with a humanitarian crisis. Adolf Hitler had taken direct control of the country’s military in February of 1938 and then began a methodic takeover of all neighboring countries, spreading Nazism and the Holocaust.

Hank Greenberg in 1938 chronicles the events of 1938, both on the diamond and in the streets of Europe. As Greenberg took aim at Babe Ruth’s home run record, Hitler’s “Final Solution” was beginning to take shape. Jews across the United States, worried about the issues overseas, looked to Greenberg as a symbol of hope. Though normally hesitant to speak about the anti-Semitism he dealt with, Greenberg knew that he was batting for so many of his own people, particularly those living with life and death on the European continent.

The program includes a presentation in the Bullpen Theater, followed by a book signing in the Library Atrium. Presentation at 1 pm. Book signing at 1:30 pm.

For more information call (607) 547-0362.

Honorable Menschen: My night at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse

Posted on: May 23rd, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

For me, it’s like being a two-time MVP. I had the chance to speak again at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse in Manhattan on May 3 to talk about Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War. Jay Goldberg is a true friend of baseball writers, giving them a chance to discuss their work with an audience that is always welcoming and whip smart when it comes to the game.

It’s also nice to reconnect with old friends and Bergino regulars like author and educator Lee Lowenfish and Perry Barber, a professional umpire and former Jeopardy winner. Perry presented me with t-shirts she had made bearing the book’s cover, a very sweet gesture. And Jay gave me a goodie bag that rivaled those handed out at the Academy Awards as far as I’m concerned. Oscars are a dime a dozen, but I’m willing to bet cash money that none of those people has an official Bergino bobblehead, so there.

Meeting and greeting

With Jay, left, and Lee

With Perry

 

   
 

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