A Chicago Cubs rookie who was hit in the head by a pitch seven years ago and never played another Major League Baseball game will receive a second chance.
Adam Greenberg will sign a one-day contract with the Miami Marlins and be guaranteed one at-bat in Tuesday’s game against the New York Mets, Marlins president David Samson told NBC’s Today Show on Thursday.
Greenberg, now 31, was hit in the back of the head by a 92 miles per hour fastball in his first plate appearance as a Cub in July 2005. Helped off the field and hospitalized, he never returned to the major leagues after that ninth inning pinch-hit appearance against the Marlins.
No other player has ever had his big league career end on the first pitch, according to Major League Baseball’s website.
Greenberg has since dealt with post-concussion syndrome, dizziness, severe headaches, double vision and nausea.
His major league dream seemingly gone, Greenberg has kept his baseball aspirations alive with appearances with several minor league teams and most recently with the Israeli team in qualifying competition for the World Baseball Classic where he drew a walk in his only appearance.
“He has earned this chance as his love and passion for the game never diminished, despite his career tragically being cut short,” Marlins owner Jeffrey Lori said in a statement.
“I look forward to seeing Adam step up to the plate and realizing his comeback dream next Tuesday night.”
Greenberg said he would be ready.
“It doesn’t matter if I get a hit or I don’t, this has already been a success,” the Connecticut resident said.
“Life is going to throw you curve balls or fastball in the back of your head,” Greenberg said. “I got hit by one of them. It knocked me down. I could have stayed there. I had a choice. I could have said, ‘Poor me, and this is horrible.’ But I chose to get up and get back in the box.”
Officially his hit by pitch seven years ago is considered a “plate appearance.” Greenberg hopes to change that on Tuesday with a genuine at-bat.
He will donate his one-day salary to the Marlins Foundation, which will 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.