In the wake of disagreements with the Tigers' owners, Greenberg was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1946. Pleased to have Greenberg, the National League team offered the star a contract worth more than any other baseball player had ever received: $100,000. Three days after signing his contract, he married department store heiress Carol Gimbel, with whom he would have two sons and a daughter. Greenberg and Gimbel divorced in 1959.
Yet the baseball star had passed the peak of his career. Bothered by injuries, Greenberg played only one season with the Pirates, slipping to an average of .249 and hitting only twenty-five home runs. He retired in 1947.
Turning to the business end of the sport, Greenberg became vice president and farm director for the Cleveland Indians; in 1950 he became the Indians' general manager. He later moved to the Chicago White Sox, as part owner and vice president. On July 23, 1956, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, New York. He retired from the baseball business seven years later, becoming an investment banker. After retiring, Greenberg took up a new sport—tennis—becoming a regular player on the senior circuit, where he won several celebrity tournaments.
When Greenberg died of cancer in 1986, at age 75, baseball fans around the country remembered a player of remarkable power, dignity, and humbleness. As the first Jewish baseball superstar, he had achieved folk hero status among Jewish youth and immigrants in his day. Of more lasting import, Greenberg helped to break the barrier of religion in America's most popular sport.
Famous Sports StarsBaseballHank Greenberg Biography - Preferred Baseball To Schoolwork, First Jewish Baseball Star, Chronology, Highest-paid Player, Career Statistics - SELECTED WRITINGS BY GREENBERG: