If only we had known of the 2000 documentary "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg" it might have won our poll for the best baseball film.
First, it's about one of our guys, Hall of Famer, Hank Greenberg. Second, it is a tremendous documentary on it's own. It won several awards, and throughout the hour and a half, I found myself saying, "Huh, I didn't know that!?" (Like the fact that Father Coughlin, pastor of Royal Oak Shrine of the Little Flower and popular broadcaster during the 1930's was vitriolically anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi. ) I had heard of the anti-Semitism Greenberg had to put up with during his career, but it was great to see footage of interviews with him and his family when he was alive. The film also portrays Greenberg as a hero of the Jewish community, and interviews people like the Levin brothers (Senator Carl and Sandy) Walter Matthau and many others.
But no doubt, best of all was the baseball. I found myself actually breaking out in cheers when Hank came back from World War II by hitting a home run and leading the Tigers to a World Series victory.
You can buy it or rent it, but take a look at it if you call yourself a Tiger fan. You won't be sorry.
(You might think "the Jews" in Hollywood suffer from a little idol worship, but interestingly, Hank was a rather secular Jew. His son says when he came back from the war, he was sickened by the way religion divided people, and never went back to synagogue. "I believe all people are God's children," he said in the film. So much for the "Chosen People;" he might not have made any friends with the Jewish community with that remark.
He seems to be such a genuine, nice man, we all hope he's in Heaven today.