Once in a great while there appears a baseball player who transcends the game and earns universal admiration from his fellow players, from fans, and from the American people. Such a man was Hank Greenberg, whose dynamic life and legendary career are among baseball's most inspiring stories. The Story of My Life tells the story of this extraordinary man in his own words, describing his childhood as the son of Eastern European immigrants in New York; his spectacular baseball career as one of the greatest home-run hitters of all time and later as a manager and owner; his heroic service in World War II; and his courageous struggle with cancer. Tall, handsome, and uncommonly good-natured, Greenberg was a secular Jew who, during a time of widespread religious bigotry in America, stood up for his beliefs. Throughout a lifetime of anti-Semitic abuse he maintained his dignity, becoming in the process a hero for Jews throughout America and the first Jewish ballplayer elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Read "Hank Greenberg The Story of My Life" written with Ira Berkow. It is a wonderfully written story of an extraordinary man. The son of Orthodox Jews who migrated to this country, he fell in love with baseball as a youngster and continuously learned how to be better and then even better. The discipline he displayed throughout his lifetime was very apparent in every phase of his life. Tall, handsome, and with the courage of his convictions, he was a player, a manager and an owner, and he displayed the same wonderful qualities in every step of his career.
That career was interrupted and affected by his military service during World War II, but he still accomplished major achievements. The home run hitter was remembered by some as refusing to play on Yom Kippur during a pennant drive, and throughout his career he was subjected to displays of bigotry. But his dignified demeanor allowed him to perform superbly as he won MVP crowns, was a major league home run leader ( coming within two home runs of Babe Ruth's 60 home run record) and the leader of his ball club as the Detroit Tigers won four pennants and two World Series. In 1956 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. But you don't have to be a baseball aficionado to enjoy the book, even though he recounts his scoring in many, many games. His approach to life, his inherent dignity, his humanity, his gracious way of helping other players, his being a caring father to his children - all these and other qualities make him a man the reader should be glad to know. I wish I had known him, but this is an adequate substitute.
I recommend this book. It is a good read.