The slugging careers of Hank Greenberg and Ted Williams overlapped, and for years they were American League rivals. Both 6’4″ sluggers served their country in World War Two. For the most part, the days of baseball players playing so long for a ffranchise, such that their names become synonymous with their teams, as with Greenberg and Williams, are behind us. Perhaps that accounts for part of the national appreciation of Derek Jeter. Greenberg’s former teammate Hal Newhouser was a scout with the Houston Astros in the 1990’s. He recommended that the team sign a prospect from Tiger Country (Kalamazoo) named Derek Jeter. When Houston refused to give the kid a contract, Newhouser resigned.
Here is a New York Times piece that reminds us of how Jeter’s triumphant last game at Yankee Stadium, echoes Ted Williams’ farewell at Fenway:
And here is a photo of Ted and Hank, with then-Congressman John F. Kennedy: