The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

In the 1930s Jewish Mothers would ask their sons: “What kind of day did Hank have?” Hank Greenberg, the Detroit Tigers Slugger who came close to breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record, was baseball’s first Jewish star. Tall (6’4″), handsome, and uncommonly good-natured, Greenberg was a secular Jew from the Bronx who became “the baseball Moses,” an icon for everyone from Walter Matthau (“I joined the Beverly Hills Tennis club to eat lunch with him. I don’t play tennis”) to Alan Dershowitz (“I thought he’d become the first Jewish president”). Aviva Kempner’s loving tribute is chock full of wonderful archival footage from the ’30s and ’40s and interviews with a self-effacing Greenberg and many of his tiger teammates. Plus Many Patinkin’s rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” — in Yiddish!

Awards & Recognition

2011 WJFF Visionary Award Winner Aviva Kempner

This annual award recognizes and pays tribute to courage, creativity and insight in presenting the diversity of the Jewish experience through the moving image. We are honored to name as the 2011 WJFF Visionary Award recipient “our own” Aviva Kempner. In conjunction with the award, the WJFF is presenting a retrospective of several of Kempner’s films.

Peabody Award Winner 2001

George Foster Peabody Awards

Best Non-Fiction Film 2000

New York Film Critics Association

Best Documentary 2000

National Board Review of Motion Pictures

Best Documentary 2000

Chicago Film Critics

Best Documentary 2000

Las Vegas Film Critics

Voted Best Documentary Film 2001

by the National Society of Film Critics

Best Documentary 2001

2001 Festival de Sevilla Cine y Deporte

Best Documentary 2000

Florida Film Critics

The President’s Award

2001 Columbus International Film & Video Festival

1999 CINE Golden Eagle Award Winner

CINE Awards

Spirit Award for Best Sports Documentary

International Sports Video and Film Awards

© Copyright The Ciesla Foundation