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September 12, 1986 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-09-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

r

UP FRONT

f ond Memories

Of Hank Greenberg

I

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MIKE ROSENBAUM

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Special to The Jewish News

inding people who re-
member and are will-
ing to discuss Hank
Greenberg is an easy task, as
the former Tiger baseball
star is still well and fondly
remembered in the metro De-
troit Jewish community. Ear-
lier this week, at the Jewish
Community Centers in Oak
_Park and West Bloomfield,
men and women were eager
express what the late
slugger meant to them.
"The greatest fella, in my
book," said Jack Provizer of
z Oak Park. "We were so proud
of him at the time, when he

from an Orthodox family —
and the rabbi told him, if the
rest of the team depends on
you to play, to make their
living, you are allowed to
play" on Rosh Hashanah.
Greenberg played and hit
two home runs in a 2-1 Tiger

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OLDSMOBILE-SAAB

Sam Silverman

Jack Provizer

was playing baseball with the
Tigers. I think he should go
down in history as one of the
) greatest players, and also one
of the greatest Jewish fellas,
(—that has been around. We
were very proud of him. The
/- fact is, when it came on a
Yom Kippur day, on a Jewish
(—holiday, he wouldn't play
baseball at all."
Invariably, every discus-
)
sion of Greenberg included
his decision not to play on
Yom Kippur in 1934. The Ti-
/
gers were in a close race for
first place, and important
games fell on both Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
2 "He went to ask a question

Jack Homer

from a rabbi," recalled Jack
Homer of Oak Park. "He was
an Orthodox Jew — he came

victory. But he did not play
on Yom Kippur, and he is
still honored for that.
"Everybody debated about
whether he should or
shouldn't" play;, said Sam
Silverman of Farmington
Hills. "But everyone was de-
lighted at his decision." Inci-
dentally, the Tigers still won
the pennant that year.
Greenberg played one game
with the Tigers in 1930, re-
turned in 1933 and stayed
with Detroit through 1946,
except for parts of four sea-
sons he spent in the military
during World War H. His
value to the Jewish commu-
nity of that time cannot be
overestimated.
Homer remembered: "In
those years, 12th Street was
a Jewish area and, occasion-
ally, you used to see an el-
derly man (say), 'Vos hot
Greenberg getone hant?'
(What did Greenberg do to-
day?)
"He was a hero to all of us
Jews."
"As a Jew he was a terrific
symbol," said Sam Borak, of
Southfield. "Not only a sym-
bol, the image of a Jew, the
way it should be, the way he
comported himself on the
field and in sports," said
Borak, gesturing toward the
sky as if to put Greenberg up
on a pedestal.

Southfield's Marvin Revich
recalled seeing Greenberg
away from the field. "I met
him a couple times in the
Jewish Center on Holbrook
and Woodward. He used to
like to come down and play
handball. Personally, as a
man, he was the greatest
man I ever ran across. Really
very kind, respectable, he al-
ways believed in the Jewish
organizations, he tried to do
the best he could for them.
"I'm not the only one (who
feels that way). In fact, the
other day I saw the Free
Press that had the little arti-

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Open 'til 9 Mon. & Thurs. Eves.

Continued on Page 44

3



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