September 16, 2013
In a program titled "Hank Greenberg: Baseball Star, Jewish Hero, American Legend," John Rosengren, a 1986 graduate of Saint John's University and an award-winning journalist, will discuss Greenberg's legacy at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in the Founders Room (Quadrangle Building 170), SJU.
The program is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning and is free and open to the public. Rosengren will be interviewed about his new book, "Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes," by Rabbi David Wirtschafter, the Jay Phillips Center's visiting scholar in Jewish studies.
According to Rosengren, "one man modeled assimilation for a generation of Jews struggling to find their way in the New World: Hank Greenberg." The Hall of Fame ballplayer with the Detroit Tigers in the 1930s and 1940s "transformed the way Gentiles viewed Jews and the way Jews saw themselves."
"Greenberg stood tall as a beacon of hope for Jews and, ultimately, became a hero to all Americans," Rosengren said.
Rosengren is the author of seven books, including "Blades of Glory: The True Story of a Young Team Bred to Win" and "Hammerin' Hank, George Almighty and the Say Hey Kid." His articles have appeared in more than 100 publications, including Sports Illustrated, Men's Journal, Reader's Digest, Runner''s World, Utne Reader, U.S. Catholic and Saint John's Magazine.
After majoring in English at SJU, Rosengren earned his master's degree in creative writing at Boston University, where he studied with Saul Bellow and Derek Walcott. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and their two children.
Greenberg, a first baseman/outfielder, played for the Tigers from 1930-46, and concluded his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1947. He was a two-time American League MVP (1935, '40) and four-time All-Star Game selection. He helped the Tigers win two World Series titles, and finished with 331 career homers and 1,276 RBI. He was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1956.