But the whiff was merely a footnote on a night that Greenberg, and the Marlins fans in attendance won’t soon forget.
The Marlins signed the 31-year-old Greenberg to a one-day contract and gave him one at-bat in Tuesday’s game against the Mets. Greenberg’s first major league plate appearance came with the Chicago Cubs in 2005 and ended when the first pitch from Marlins left-hander Valerio de los Santos drilled him in the head with a 92-mph fastball.
Despite the strikeout, Greenberg’s second at-bat will provide a far better memory.
Fans held up signs promoting the “One-At-Bat” campaign launched by filmmaker and Cubs fan Matt Liston on change.org. And after Greenberg swung through Dickey’s fluttering knuckleball, they gave him a standing ovation.
“It was magical,” Greenberg said. “The energy in the stadium was something I never experienced, and I don’t know if I will ever experience it again. You could just feel the genuine support. It was awesome.”
That feeling was mutual in a brand new ballpark that bore witness to a season of disappointments from the new-look Marlins.
“I think I’ve never seen this ballclub more excited than today,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We’ve been losing so many games we hate each other.”