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Sports Film of the Week: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

If you haven’t heard the story of ‘Hammerin’ Hank’, you’re in for a treat.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

Title: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

Released: 1998

Director: Aviva Kempner

Plot: Hank Greenberg was baseball’s first Jewish star, a Hall of Famer who chased down and very nearly broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1938.

But as he became an American icon and a beacon for the country’s Jewish population, Greenberg faced anti-Semitism and religious prejudice on and off the field.

What the critics said: “This unabashed valentine by Aviva Kempner to baseball’s Hall of Fame slugger demonstrates how little mankind and some of its sports figures have advanced since the 1930′s and 40′s and reminds us how the persistence of bigotry stains a nation founded on ideals like religious tolerance.” (Lawrence van Gelder, New York Times)

Random YouTube comment: “There should be and we need more Hank Greenbergs.” (BobbyDelRiv)

Source: cieslafoundation/YouTube

 See more of our Sports Film of the Week series here >

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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