Stephen David Greenberg
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 195 lb.
- School Yale University, University of California, Los Angeles
Steve Greenberg, son of Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg was drafted in the 17th round of the 1970 amateur draft by the Washington Senators. He had hit .263 with 11 RBI for Team USA when they won the Silver Medal in the 1969 Amateur World Series. He was in AAA in 1973-1974 with the Spokane Indians, then was sold to the Chicago White Sox in December 1974, but decided to retire instead of joining another organization.
He left baseball to go to law school at UCLA and began practicing law in Los Angeles, CA after graduation. There he joined forces with Arn Tellem, who was a young partner in his law firm, and began representing athletes in salary negotiations. The pair became very prominent in the business. However, Greenberg had some unpleasant experiences in the late 1980s, when he had a falling out with Bill Madlock, a former teammate in the minors whom he had represented as an agent. Madlock ended up suing him, and the two long-time friends have not spoken since. Greenberg was thus looking for another challenge when he got a call from the Commissioner's office.
He served as deputy Commissioner of baseball from 1989 to 1993, succeeding Fay Vincent, who had become Commissioner after Bart Giamatti's untimely death. It was a time of bitter conflict between owners and players, that would culminate in the 1994 strike. Greenberg was too identified with players' concerns in owners' eyes, and was pushed to resign before the big confrontation, as Vincent would be a short while later.
Greenberg continued his association with baseball in later years. Known for his ability as a dealmaker, he was hired to put together the cable Classic Sports Network in 1993; it became a success and was eventually bought out by ESPN, becoming "ESPN Classic". He then helped set up the MLB Network. Working as an investment banker, he was involved in the purchase of the Houston Astros by Jim Crane in 2011.
In January of 2012, he was a member of one of the most prominent groups bidding to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt. His group was headed by Steve Cohen, a hedge fund financier with SAC Capital, and also included his old partner Arn Tellem, but its bid fell short of the winning one submitted by Mark Walter. His name surfaced again as one of the favorites to succeed Bud Selig as Commissioner, following Selig's announcement that he would retire at the end of the 2014 season. Greenberg repeatedly said that he was not interested in the job, having seen from the inside what it represented in terms of personal commitment. Because of his expressed lack of interest, his name was not among the three finalists announced in early August.
Born just before his father's retirement from the game, Greenberg has explained that he has no memory of him as a ballplayer, but knew him instead as a successful major league executive. Their bond was more through playing tennis together than baseball, the game that Hank took up with a passion after his retirement from baseball. However, his father was idolized by Jews of a certain generation, and that connection helped open some doors for Steve over the years.