Adam Greenberg received one at-bat with the Chicago Cubs in 2005. He was hit in the head by, then, Florida Marlins left-hander Valerio De Los Santos before crashing to the ground, along with his career. It was July 9, 2005, and Greenberg, at the age of 24, and seven years later, the Miami Marlins will be giving the now 31-year-old a one-day contract with the club, where he will receive a plate appearance in a major league uniform one more time.
Greenberg earned his way to the Windy City in 2005 after hitting .269/.386/.407 for Double-A West Tennessee in 2005. He had solid on-base skills and could handle all three outfield positions, so although his hitting skills weren’t all that impressive, Greenberg could do a little bit of everything.
After the beaning in July of 2005, Greenberg suffered from vertigo, headaches, blurred vision, and other post-concussion symptoms for a number of years. Greenberg never gave up on the game, even while battling his body for the skills necessary to achieve. He returned to play in the minors with the Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Angels, and the Kansas City Royals before playing for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Independent Atlantic League near his hometown of Guilford Connecticut.
Greenberg has had 2,365 at-bats at various levels since his last at-bat for the Chicago Cubs seven years ago, posting a .253/.359/.363 triple slash. When he steps to the plate next Tuesday against the New York Mets, he’ll attempt to get his first hit or maintain his 1.000 on-base percentage.
While the Miami Marlins are having a disappointing seasons after an offseason of spending and changes to succeed, they can still leave a tremendous stamp on your heart with their generosity and willingness to reach out Adam Greenberg. While many dream of having the opportunity to play baseball growing up, Greenberg received a chance and had it taken away by a fastball that got away from a pitcher.
There aren’t many other sports that are capable of transplanting someone from everyday life into their game. There was the football players who used to deliver beer, former New Orleans Saints kick returner Michael Lewis, but baseball seems to find a story like this easier. Just look at Jim Morris, the former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher who went 10 years between appearances in the minors, due to injuries, before arriving in the majors in 1999 at the age of 35, who had Disney make a movie about him.
Adam Greenberg will finally get his second plate appearance on Tuesday in Miami. Tune in and root for the heartwarming story of persistence, determination, and passion to fight for the chance to play a game that so many of us love. Greenberg finally gets to write the final chapter of his career.