What's the story?
Aviva Kempner's documentary reveals that baseball player Hank Greenberg was that rarest of sports stars, someone who was as good as his fans hoped he was -- in fact, he was even better. Kempner combines stock footage and contemporary interviews with fans, friends, family, and teammates to give a glowing portrait of Greenberg, who died in 1986, and, as the title promises, of his era. Accomplished, distinguished men get teary-eyed as they talk about how much Hank Greenberg meant to them when they were growing up. Lawyer-to-the-stars Alan Dershowitz says, "Baseball was our way of showing that we were as American as anyone else." "We" meant Jews. Hank Greenberg wasn't the first Jewish baseball player, but he was the first one to be proudly Jewish. He did not change his name or hide his religion. And he was a star. Dershowitz said, "He was what they said Jews could never be." Greenberg faced a lot of prejudice, but never took it personally and never became bitter. Not a religious or observant man, he was very aware of his role as a symbol, and, as a fan notes, "he wore his Jewishness on his sleeve and in his heart." At the end of his career, he helped support another baseball player he perhaps understood better than anyone -- Jackie Robinson.