Adam Greenberg stepped to the plate for his first major league at bat seven years ago with the Chicago Cubs, but an at-bat that could have sparked the beginning of a promising young career nearly ended Greenberg’s baseball journey altogether.
The first pitch from Marlins left-hander Valerio de los Santos, a 92-mph fastball – drilled Greenbeg in the back of the head. He never returned to the major leagues and has suffered from vertigo and vision issues since.
But now the team that nearly ended Greenberg’s career is giving him a second chance.
The Marlins signed Greenberg, 31, to a one-day contract and he will bat in their game Tuesday night against New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
“I’m ready,” Greenberg said after Marlins president David Samson presented him the contract during this morning’s “NBC Today Show.”
Greenberg called his first, and only, plate big-league plate appearance “the single most happiest, greatest moment of my life, matched with the absolute worst thing at the exact same moment.”
Filmmaker and Cubs fan Matt Liston launched an internet campaign to get Greenberg back in a major-league batter’s box, and his change.org campaign has generated more than 20,000 petition signatures. But while the Cubs never responded to the efforts, the Marlins now have.
Here’s more from the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi:
After spending the remainder of the 2005 season on the Disabled List, Greenberg, who suffered from vertigo following the incident, played in the minors and independent baseball from 2006-2009.
“I’m extremely proud to extend this opportunity to Adam,” Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria in a statement.
“He has earned this chance as his love and passion for the game never diminished, despite his career tragically being cut short. I look forward to seeing Adam step up to the plate and realizing his comeback dream next Tuesday night.”
Greenberg has agreed to donate his one-day salary to the Marlins Foundation, which will then make a donation to the Sports Legacy Institute – an organization that advances the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and other at-risk groups.