The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 30, 2000 - 13A
Continued from Page 9A
'0three teams from each group on Fri day
night. The format of the championship
requires that the winning team per-
forms at a peak level on two consecu-
tive nights. Michigan may have the
edge over other teams because of their
experience competing on back-to-back
Earlier in the season, the
Wolverines had back-to-back meets
scheduled against Big Ten foes Penn
State, Minnesota and Ohio State.
Competing in two meets in one week-
end is something that none of their
competitors have done. Also, at the Big
Ten Championships, nine of I11 gym-
nasts who competed in the team cham-
pionships also competed in the indi-
vidual championships, requiring them
to compete on consecutive nights.
Michigan coach Kurt Golder
specifically scheduled the back-to-
back meets to prepare his team for
The only chink in the armor for
Michigan is that the status of team
leader and co-captain Justin Toman is
still. uncertain. Toman has a partially
torn ligament in his knee, and the
Wolverines are unsure about how
much he can contribute. He will com-
pete tonight in the still rings, pommel
horse and parallel bars. His status for
*he team and individual finals will be
determined based on his performance
Toman is the defending NCAA
champion in the parallel bars -
-4ichigan's only individual national
chaipion from a year ago.
Although the team title is the ulti-
mate goal for the Wolverines, many of
the gymnasts are strong contenders for
Scott Vetere is the most dangerous
EWlverine. He is the favorite for the
all-around title, partially based on his
record-setting performance at~Big Ten
championships when he scored 58.7 to
blow by the field.
Vault could be won by Vetere or
Kenna. If Diaz-Luong is healthy, he is
the best vaulter in the country. Diaz-
Luong provides the only real threat for
the Wolverines on high bar. Co-captain
K!vin Roulston is the Wolverines best
competitor on the floor exercise.
The Wolverines real strength lies in
the parallel bars, pommel horse and
their best event - the still rings. If
Toman is healthy enough, he will com-
pete with Vetere and Zimmerman for
the parallel bars title. Pommel horse is
a toss up that could go to Diaz-Luong,
Vetere or Toman.
Overall though, it is likely that
Wolverines will not disappoint. And on
$Priday night, in Carver-Hawkeye
Arena, the men's gymnasts will look to
become the first back-to-back champi-
ons from Michigan in 30 years.
THE DAILY GRIND
Hank Greenberg, a hero for all to cherish and respect
r Aviva Kempner, two things
from her childhood always came
hand-in-hand: Yom Kippur and
Yom Kippur, of course, is the Day of
Atonement, the holiest holiday in the
of course, was
Hank, the bestt
Why the odd
father, Harold JOSH
Kempner, was a KLEINBAUM
die-hard baseball A Xalypse
fan, and made Now
sure to always
remind his chil-
dren of 1935, when the Tigers great sat
out a game in the stretch of a pennant
race to observe Yom Kippur.
"I actually thought Hank Greenberg's
name was part of Kol Nidre liturgy,"
Kempner said. "My father would say,
'The greatest Jewish slugger honored
Yom Kippur, that's what we have to
Kempner, now 53-years-old, is trying
to spread that 'If-Hank-could-do-it'
attitude with her 90-minute documen-
tary, "The Life and Times of Hank
Greenberg," which is making a three-
day-run at the Detroit Institute of the
Arts tomorrow through Sunday.
The film is both light-hearted and
serious, often touching but occasionally
over-the-top. Kempner, a Michigan
graduate, admits that "female fans, we
always have crushes - the filmmaker
included" Sometimes, that crush sur-
faces, but it's never overly intrusive:
The film covers all of Greenberg's
on-the-field achievements - two MVP
awards, two World Series titles, his 183
RBI in 1937, just one short of Lou
Gehrig's AL record, and his 58 homers
in 1938, two shy of Babe Ruth's record.
But it goes much deeper than statistics
and achievements; it delves into the
heart of a hero.
This isn't your typical sports docu-
mentary with a Bob Costas interview.
Instead, while Kempner uses some
sports sources, her primary interviews
are with Jewish fans who remember
Hank, from rabbis and congressmen to
Alan Dershowitz and Walter Matthau.
With this film, Kempner is trying to
dispel stereotypes about the unathletic,
uncoordinated Jew. Instead, she pre-
sents the strapping, six-foot-four slug-
ger as a Jewish hero.
"This film is about changing percep-
tions," said Kempner. "There are a lot
of children of immigrants making
movies like that - portraying Italians
as something other than the mafia, por-
traying the Irish as something other
Kempner's father, Harold, immigrated
from Lithuania to Pittsburgh in 1925.
Aviva was born in Berlin in 1946, and
the family moved to Detroit four years
later. Kempner's first movie, "Partisans
in Vilna,' is a documentary about Jewish
resistance during World War II. She has
been nicknamed the Jewish Spike Lee.
So she presents Hank Greenberg the
hero. He didn't play on Yom Kippur.
He was the first Major League player
to enlist in the army during World War
11, shortly after the bombing of Pearl
Harbor. He fought prejudice and dis-
crimination not with his fist but with
his bat - he did it with class. Jackie
Robinson once called Greenberg a
"Sports can bring out our best,"
Kempner said. "Back then, sometimes it.
brought out our worst. I hope to show
that prejudice has no place on the field. "
In 1938, when Greenberg was mak-
ing his run for Ruth's record, he was
two homers shy of 60 with five games
to play. Some say opposing teams
pitched around Hank; they didn't
want a Jew to be baseball's home run
king. Greenberg never used it as an
How far we've come in the 53 years
since. Yesterday morning, Sammy Sosa
opened the season in Tokyo, with
Japanese fans crowding the Tokyo
Dome with signs reading, "Hit it here,
When Sosa. was chasing Roger
Maris' single-season home run record
two years ago, there was no public
racism, no backlash against the possi-
bility of a Dominican holding base-
ball's most cherished record.
Hank Greenberg pioneered that atti-
When Hammerin' Hank walked into
his synagogue on Yom Kippur in 1935,
the whole congregation turned to look at
Then they started applauding.
-- The Life and Times of Hank
Greenberg is playing at the DIA tomor-
row at 7 and 9:30 p.m. and Saturdav
and Sundav at 1, 4, 7 and 9:30 p.ni.
Kempner will be at the 1 p.m. show-
ings. Josh Kleinbaum can be reddi-d
via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I tell people how little:I
-0 .paid for my glasses from SEE,
they look at me funny. Thenq
tell them they can't try'em on
because the low price included.
my prescription.They just keep
staring. How rude.They shoud
just go to SEE.
Very cool, by design
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