As promised in my last post, today's is much more manageable at just 19 cards of a single player, a guy who certainly deserves his own post. That would be one Henry Benjamin Greenberg.
The "Hebrew Hammer" and original "Hammerin' Hank" (though Mr. Aaron rightfully gets that nickname now), Greenberg plied his trade in Detroit for "12" of his "13" Major League seasons. Quotation marks are definitely required here as he got all of 1 AB in 1930, and that season plus 1936, '41, and '45 added up to a measly 110 games split between four seasons.
But when he was on, boy was he on! He piled up 150 or more RBI three times in his career, socked 58 homers in 1938--and piled up 331 dingers in just 1394 games--won MVPs in '35 and '40, and helped bring Motown its first two World Series titled in '35 and '45. Oh yeah, and he missed large chunks or the entirety of 1941-45 due to military service. Yeah, I'd say he was Hall-worthy.
Here's the nice selection of his cards I found on Sportlots to add to my small collection of one of the team's all-time greats:
Here's a mix of the usual suspects you've seen so far plus some new ones, some of which may pop up again in this series. Hank was indeed an honorary captain for the '84 All-Star Game, played a couple years before his death, and that was a good sign for the team that went on to win it all that year. Sportflics Decades Greats is back and Greenberg's run in the 30s is honored here. You'll see a few more from Pacific Legends soon and maybe the raised surface of Action Packed a bit more, plus the always fun Conlon, besides what you see here.
Card #6 in this scan, honoring Hank's military service (one of two of those today) is from UD's Baseball: the American Epic set made in '94. Then there's a trio that's a sight for my sore eyes: the comfortingly familiar 2002 Greats of the Game and Sweet Spot Classics and '03 Flair Greats. I sure wish we still had products that looked like these, but at least I can enjoy going back and chasing what does exist, especially as it builds up some of my Tigers collections.
Round 2 brings a few more familiar looks: 2003 Fleer Fall Classics--a great reminder that Greenberg played in four World Series--plus 2004 SP Legendary Cuts and Sweet Spot Classics, with different designs using the same photo. The newcomers here start with a 2003 Topps Record Breakers insert that highlights that 58-bomb campaign in '38, making him one of just nine players to reach that mark. Also from 2003 is an Upper Deck Play Ball 1941 Reprint, which is probably as close as I'll ever get to owning the original. And then there's one last vintage/modern mashup: a 2010 Triple Threads base that has a newer design but a super cool old-school photo of the legend.
These last four hail from Panini brands so some of you have probably gone off to read something else, but for those have stayed, check out some pretty cool stuff! Up first is another card that gives due credit to Hank's military service: 2012 Cooperstown With Honors. The back does a great job of explaining just how much of his career he gave up for his country:
A rare non-player card is next in the form of a 2013 Cooperstown Museum Pieces insert. Panini did a great job of showcasing some of the Hall's most interesting artifacts, such as Hank's 300th home run ball. Given a fuller career of something like 15-18 full seasons, he likely would have been a member of the 500 club. A pair of 2014 Classics cards capture that: the base plus an insert called, yep, Home Run Heroes. The back of the latter notes that Hank was just the fourth player to get to 58 round-trippers, and he still leads the franchise 80+ years later, with Cecil Fielder's 51 in 1990 (hit over the course of four extra games) getting the closest.
I hope you all enjoyed some cardboard of another Tigers legend. I have a few more players to feature here and would love to get them all done in plenty of time to show off what's sure to be lots of COMC Black Friday/Cyber Monday loot when it arrives next month.