Hank Greenberg

Greenberg was a physical freak in his time in much the same way that Frank Howard was in the 1960s and Randy Johnson was in the 1990s – he was bigger and more talented than anyone had seen before.

It’s very likely that Hank would have at least tied Babe Ruth’s single season homer record in 1938 had it not been for a rain storm and a rules change. In one game in July, he lost a home run when the game was rained out in the fourth inning. He also hit a ball that bounced into the stands that, under the 1927 rules that Babe hit his 60 under, would have been a home run. Nevertheless, the original Hammerin’ Hank put up 58 jacks and drove in 146 runs, which was sort of an off-year for him. The previous season he’d driven in 183.

When Greenberg led the league in home runs and RBI in 1935 he had 101 runs batted in at the All-Star break but wasn’t selected for the American League team. Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx went instead. In those days, two players at each position were chosen.