Monday, December 10, 2007

Movie Review: "The Life and Times of Hank Greenburg" (1998)

Hank Greenburg is a fan generation or two before my time so I didn't know much about him before I watched baseball documentary "The Life and Times of Hank Greenburg." The 90 minute movie is shot in color with lots of black and white archival footage.

Greenburg was a big, tall, handsome baseball player that was a big hitter for Detroit for most of his career (although he played his last season at Pittsburgh where he closed his career with twenty-five home runs when that was a pretty good total). He hit fifty-eight home runs in 1938.

One of the most interesting aspects of Greenburg's career is the amount of anti-Semitism he experienced. All baseball fans remember the impact of Jackie Robinson and the racial integration of Major League Baseball, but for most of us the problems of anti-Semitism are unknown. Included in the movie are the reactions of various Jewish entertainers such as Walter Mathau who viewed Greenburg as a hero because he was a great baseball player and a Jew.

This is a good documentary about a player is not as well remembered by Baby Boomers and subsequent generations as he should be.

It's almost Christmas, here are some DVDs to put in your favorite baseball fan's stocking.

Everyone have a nice, good day! Let's play two!