UPDATE: THE GAME IS TONIGHT! Adam Greenberg to get 2nd chance

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Mar 14, 2003
THE GAME IS TONIGHT starting at 7:10pm eastern time!



In first ever at bat in the major leagues, Adam Greenberg gets beaned in the head ending his career in the majors. After 7 years and due to a grass roots social media campaign by this dude Matt Liston (http://oneatbat.com/) Greenberg will get a 2nd chance in the majors via a one-day contract with the Miami Marlins.

video: http://youtu.be/8aRA1l_ATNU
article: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8...miami-marlins-give-adam-greenberg-another-bat

If F. Scott Fitzgerald had envisioned Adam Greenberg, he might never have said, "There are no second acts in American lives."

Seven years, two months and 24 days after Greenberg's major league career began and seemed over on just one pitch, the now-31-year-old outfielder is to get another plate appearance on Tuesday, thanks to the Miami Marlins and a long-shot national campaign initiated by an imaginative fan on a lark.

"I'm ready," Greenberg said on the NBC "Today" show Thursday, holding back tears as David Samson, general manager of the last-place Marlins, offered him a one-day contract.

The Marlins received approval from MLB commissioner Bud Selig to give Greenberg a plate appearance next week. Miami will host the New York Mets, who are scheduled to start knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

Greenberg told ESPN by phone after his "Today" appearance that he found out about the Marlins' plans after 11 p.m. Sunday, following Team Israel's loss to Spain in qualifying competition for the World Baseball Classic. Greenberg saw brief action with Team Israel.

"More than anything," Greenberg said, "the Marlins deserve the attention for this. They didn't do it for publicity.

"They said they didn't follow my story and that after Matt brought it to their attention, they sent their scouts to see me," Greenberg added. "I was at their spring training facility (in Jupiter, Fla., where Team Israel also trained) for almost two weeks. They said they believe in hard work, perseverance and that anything is possible. I believe that genuinely."

On the first and only pitch the left-handed-hitting Greenberg faced in the majors on July 9, 2005, he was struck by Marlins left-hander Valerio De Los Santos in the back of the head with a 92-mph fastball. Greenberg, then playing for the Chicago Cubs, fell to the ground. Moments after the thrill of stepping to the plate as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning, he had to be helped from the field and taken to the hospital.

In the days, months and years that followed that ninth-inning appearance, Greenberg dealt with post-concussion syndrome, dizziness, severe headaches, double vision, nausea and eventually the reality that the minor leagues might be the highest level of baseball he'd ever attain, other than that one fleeting experience in the majors.

But the Guilford, Conn., native continued to pursue his dream of a return, as he played for several minor league teams, most recently the independent Bridgeport Bluefish. In a game last year against the Long Island Ducks, he singled against -- of all people -- De Los Santos in their first matchup since the 2005 beaning. Greenberg did not play this season except for his time in September with Team Israel. In his only at-bat, Greenberg drew a walk and later scored.

For months, filmmaker Matt Liston conducted an online drive to get a team to give Greenberg an at-bat, first focusing his efforts on his favorite ballclub, the Cubs. Despite a compelling video, endorsements from the likes of Hall of Famer George Brett and more than 20,000 petition signatures at change.org, the efforts of Liston and co-campaigner Gary Cohen, a documentarian, failed to sway Chicago's management. But the Marlins, with time running out on the season, embraced the opportunity as a win-win for Greenberg and the team whose hurler abruptly ended his first major league career.

Greenberg agreed to a request by "Today" host Matt Lauer to return to the show, no matter how the plate appearance turns out.

"It's nice for him. Obviously it wasn't a fit for us but I wish him the best," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Thursday. "It will be a cool thing for him. It will be a fitting day for him. I wish him all the best."

Greenberg has committed 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.

UPDATE 2 OCT: The game is tonight. Here is another article written by Greenberg himself:


On July 9, 2005, Adam Greenberg stepped into the batter's box at Dolphins Stadium for his first major league at-bat. Greenberg, then 24, had been a promising prospect for the Cubs ever since they had selected him in the ninth-round of the 2002 draft out of North Carolina three years earlier. He rose steadily through Chicago's minor league system and was batting .269 with a .386 on-base percentage and 15 steals in 19 attempts at Double-A West Tennessee when he was promoted to the parent club.

He came to the plate as a pinch-hitter with one out in the top of the ninth and the Cubs leading 4-2. The first pitch from Florida's Valerio de los Santos was a high fastball that smashed into Greenberg's helmet and made contact with his skull. Greenberg walked off the field under his own power but had no way of knowing that he had suffered a concussion or that he had just faced his only major league pitch.

Until tonight. More than seven years after that one-pitch at-bat that earned him a rare place in baseball history as the only player to be hit by the only pitch he ever saw in the major leagues, Greenberg was signed to a one-day contract by the Marlins last week. The team announced it will get him into tonight's game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Greenberg, now 31, tells his story in his own words.

The only time I think abut the at-bat is when people ask me questions. I dismissed it a long time ago based on having to live it and deal with it in order to get over it. I wanted to get back on the field and get back to playing. It was really important to me that I not accept "Oh well, poor me." I always used it as fire, just like when I was just a little kid and I had that fire to reach the majors. I never really got to live my dream in playing in the major leagues. So I used it as fuel to keep that fire burning.

I never really felt like I wasn't going to make it back. That was what enabled me to keep going. But over the years there were points that have been difficult. The toughest probably came in 2009. I had left the Cubs organization in 2006 and spent time in the Dodgers', Royals' and Angels' systems since then, as well as played independent league baseball. But that year I had gone to spring training with the Reds and played well enough that they told me that if I continued to play the way I had I would get a shot at the big leagues, possibly even that year. I was at an all-time high from any point since the injury.

One day toward the end of camp I went to the park and someone grabbed me and said, "They want to see you upstairs before you get dressed." Everyone in baseball knows what that means. They don't tell you to go upstairs before you get dressed unless it's bad news. My heart sank. I thought, really? Again? It took them 10 seconds to release the guy in front of me. When I went in, they shut the door and everybody in the room said, "You earned your shot, you deserve to play at the big league level but unfortunately there's a business side to this and there's only so many guys you can have on the roster." I was the odd man out. I wasn't under contract. I had to walk across the field that day with my bags packed going, "How did this happen again?"

WERTHEIM: Greenberg fighting to get back to the majors

A few weeks later, while playing for Bridgeport in the independent Atlantic League I tore my rotator cuff 90 percent of the way through diving for a ball. It really affected my swing; I couldn't hit through the ball with the swing that I normally would have. I wound up hitting .248 that year, which was my worst season for any season in professional baseball. At the same time, I had started a software development company because I had to. I was only making $2,200 a month for five months, had no health insurance and had just gotten married. I wasn't 100 percent into the game mentally, which you have to be if you're going to succeed.

I had a solid season in 2010 and when I came back in 2011 I felt like this was it. I was physically ready, but even though I thought I was mentally ready, I really wasn't. There were times my first at-bat of the game would happen, I'd go 0-for-1 and only then would I get my head in the game.

This past February I had a heart-to-heart with Dusty Baker at his house in California. He was my manager during my one-game call-up with the Cubs, and he had been my manager in spring training in 2009 with the Reds. In 2008, a fan had written him a letter after I got cut by the Royals, telling him my story, and Dusty read the letter and went out of his way to find me and left me the most heartfelt message I've ever received. He and I had been in touch ever since and I can't rave enough about him as a human being.

When we spoke at his house, I told him everything that had happened to me and he knew that I had started some businesses off the field. He said, "You owe it to yourself to start your life. You can play at the major league level. But you've gone the independent route. Start your life. Don't give up on your dream but do what you need to do for yourself and your family. Get your head clear and good things will come of it."

That was what I needed to hear. I chose to take the year off. That was when Matt Liston called me. He's a filmmaker and lifelong Cubs fan who knew about my story and told me about this army of people he was building to get me back in the major leagues.

I had never heard of him until he called. He told me, "I followed your story I'm a lifelong Cubs fan. I have a mission to get you back to the big leagues and get you an at bat." To be honest, I didn't dismiss it because I heard the passion in his voice. For an optimist and someone who believes anything's possible, did I really believe it would happen this way? Absolutely not.

At some point, the petition Matt was pushing got some media attention and there was a moment in the trailer Matt has made where general manager Jed Hoyer says they owed me a look, but I never spoke to anyone in the Cubs organization and didn't expect it. They didn't owe me anything, not even a phone call.

YouTube: Watch the trailer for One At-Bat

Talking to Matt and him telling me what he was doing re-lit that passion in me. And that's when I realized that playing baseball is what I still want to do. In July, I got an e-mail from longtime major league catcher Brad Ausmus asking me if I was interested in playing for Team Israel in the qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic.

I had to relearn what it meant to be a big league hitter. I hit until my hands bled and worked with a former hitting coach of mine. By the time of my first batting session with Team Israel, I knew Ausmus was looking at me and saying, "This kid can hit." I was so happy because I was excited about what was going on. I made the team and played in a few games but didn't get an at-bat. We were eliminated on Sept. 23 by Spain in extra innings and I was heartbroken.

After that game, which was at Roger Dean Stadium, the spring training home of the Marlins, I happened to be with Matt and was mic'd up when he got a call from David Samson, the team president. Matt said, "Let me put you on speakerphone." Mr. Samson told me that he had been at that game seven years ago and he'd been following my story and that the organization wanted to give me a one-day contract to get my at-bat. I broke down. I couldn't even say thank you.

I've been so busy the last few days getting ready for this that I'm exhausted at the end of the day. Now that the day is here, I have to treat it like it's a regular game, but it is pretty cool and I'm trying to soak it all up. I'm going to enjoy every second of batting practice. When my at-bat comes, it will probably be against R.A. Dickey, who's having a great season and I hope he wins the Cy Young Award. But I have to play it like it's a regular game. This is a competition. There's no greater thing in the world than playing baseball, and that's what this is all about.

I hope to get on base and score a run, however it takes, whether by base hit, walk, even another hit by pitch. If that happens, hopefully this time I can at least run the bases.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/20...am-greenberg-marlins/index.html#ixzz28Avb6Ngx
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Jun 4, 2005
by the way, 30 isn't too old to make a spot on a major league team. my friend is 29 and he got signed by the astros... he's been on sportscenter's top 10 at least 3 times so far. yeah, he's been in and out of the majors for a couple years now, but the astros signed him at 29. that should give him hope.


Aug 17, 2000
by the way, 30 isn't too old to make a spot on a major league team. my friend is 29 and he got signed by the astros... he's been on sportscenter's top 10 at least 3 times so far. yeah, he's been in and out of the majors for a couple years now, but the astros signed him at 29. that should give him hope.

Quintin Berry made the Tigers this year at 28. But, I will say it is a tough road because everyone that has to make a decision on the keeping an older player keeps thinking "well, all those other managers/coaches/scouts couldn't all be wrong."


Mar 30, 2001
by the way, 30 isn't too old to make a spot on a major league team. my friend is 29 and he got signed by the astros... he's been on sportscenter's top 10 at least 3 times so far. yeah, he's been in and out of the majors for a couple years now, but the astros signed him at 29. that should give him hope.

That being the same team that committed 4 errors on one play? ;)


Platinum Member
Nov 30, 2010
Baseball...the most boring sport in America. They should allow steroid use, would make it much more fun to watch when everyone are juiced up running around the field.
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