While eating lunch today, I decided to check my e-mails. It turned out to be a good idea because one of the messages included the Booklist review for my biography of Hank Greenberg. Publication day is right around the corner – March 1.
Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg: Baseball Pioneer
Greenberg grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family in New York and went on to be a Hall-of-Fame first baseman and left fielder, playing most of his career with the Detroit Tigers. Along the way, he endured many anti-Semitic taunts from both fans and fellow players. When Jackie Robinson entered the league, he found a strong supporter in Greenberg. Sommer presents a fast-moving, straightforward biography that takes Greenberg from his early days as an outstanding high-school athlete to his struggles to make it out of the minors and into the major leagues, to his service in World War II and his post-playing years as a baseball executive. Numerous black-and-white photos enhance the text, and an extensive bibliography offers plenty to choose from for those who want to read more. An excellent choice for kids who enjoy delving into baseball history. For younger children, suggest Yona Zeldis McDonough’s picture-book biography, Hammerin’ Hank: The Life of Hank Greenberg (2006). — Todd Morning
As a side note, I totally agree with the Booklist reviewer about McDonough’s picture book. It is a wonderful introduction to Greenberg’s story.
And finally, a special note to Netflix members: Consider adding Aviva Kempner’s award-winning documentary, “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg” to your queue. Watching Kempner’s film is the first thing I did when beginning this project. It’s an inspirational and fascinating look at Greenberg’s life and the times in which he played.