Adam Greenberg struck out for the Miami Marlins last night, but nobody in Marlin Park seemed to give a damn. In fact, he actually got high fives from his teammates on his return to the dugout. Why? Because it was his second plate appearance in Major League Baseball, this time, even though he struck out, it went a lot better than his first appearance.
In 2005, Greenberg went to bat—for the first time in MLB—in a Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins game. Marlins pitcher Valerio de los Santos threw a 92 mph fastball and it hit Greenberg square in the back of the head giving him a minor concussion and effectively ending his career. Until last night.
On a one-day contract for the Marlins vs. New York Mets game, Greenberg, 31, came back to bat, wearing a Marlins uniform this time. He finally had a chance for a plate appearance after the unlucky incident seven years ago.
Greenberg started off the sixth inning as a pinch-hitter against Met’s 20-game winner R.A. Dickey, who threw three consecutive knuckleballs—challenging pitches, to be fair. Greenberg took the first for a strike and swung and missed on the other two. Though he blew his 33-second at-bat, Marlins fans cheered wildly and his teammates congratulated him. The Marlins won 4-3 in 11 innings.
After the game, Greenberg said, “It was magical. 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.” Though he’s getting older, and he probably won’t see another MLB game, you gotta give it to the guy. After a heart breaking, career derailing first pitch, at least he stepped up to the plate again. And who knows, in a sport where managers trade, and throw around contracts, at lightning speed, (almost) anything can happen.