#45 - Hank Greenberg
Do NOT let the numbers fool you! NOTHING you see bout Hank Greenberg’s career numbers says he should be on this list, let alone in the Hall of Fame. But what the numbers DON’T tel you is that Greenberg gave up three years of his baseball career (1941-1944) to fight in World War 2, having enlisted the day after The Pearl Harbor Attack. But when he played, he was a dominant force! He had a lifetime batting average of .313, hit 331 home runs, and drove in over 1200 runs.
Being of the Jewish faith, Greenberg often was the subject of bigoted insults cast from the fans in the stands. On one occasion, however, one of his teammates insulted him, but did not reveal his identity. Greenberg’s response: He stood up in front of his entire team in the locker room and challenged whomever it was who insulted him to reveal his identity. When nobody responded, he threatened to fight the whole team! Nobody stood to fight, and nobody on his team ever slung a bigoted slur at him again!