Hank Greenberg - Bio, News, Photos - Washington Times
Skip to content

Hank Greenberg

Latest Stories

AP_381002011

AP_381002011

Hank Greenberg in the Major primarily for the Detroit Tigers as a first baseman in the 1930s and 1940s. A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and a two-time MVP winner, he was one of the premier power hitters of his generation and is widely considered as one of the greatest sluggers in baseball history. Greenberg became the first American League player to register for the nation's first peacetime draft. In the spring of 1941, the Detroit draft board initially classified Greenberg as 4F for "flat feet" after his first physical for military service and was recommended for light duty. The rumors that he had bribed the board, and concern that he would be likened to Jack Dempsey who had received negative publicity for failure to serve in World War I, led Greenberg to request to be reexamined. On April 18, he was found fit for regular military service and was reclassified. While serving as an anti-tank gunner, he was promoted to sergeant, but was honorably discharged on December 5 (the United States Congress released men aged 28 years and older from service), two days before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Greenberg re-enlisted as a sergeant on February 1, 1942, and volunteered for service in the Army Air Forces, becoming the first major league player to do so. He graduated from Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Air Corps and was assigned to the Physical Education Program. In February 1944, he was sent to the U.S. Army Special Services school. Promoted to captain, he requested overseas duty later that year and served in the China-Burma-India Theater for over six months, scouting locations for B-29 bomber bases and was a physical training officer with the 58th Bomber Wing. He was a Special Services officer of the 20th Bomber Command, 20th Air Force in China when it began bombing Japan on June 15. He was ordered to New York, and in late 1944, to Richmond, Virginia. Greenberg served 47 months, the longest of any major league pla

KANJORSKI_001.jpg

KANJORSKI_001.jpg

House Oversight Committee member Rep. Paul Kanjorski, Pennsylvania Democrat, questions former AIG head Hank Greenberg, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 2, 2009, during the committee's hearing. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)