(JTA) — Adam Greenberg saw one pitch in his first major league at-bat, a 92 mph fastball that struck him in the head and effectively ended his MLB career. The ball hit with a sickening thud, popping Greenberg’s helmet off and sending the young ballplayer to the ground, where he clutched his head in agony.
Greenberg suffered a concussion from the 2005 incident, and bounced around the minor leagues for the next seven seasons in his bid to return to the majors. Finally, in 2012 — following a viral campaign from his fans called One at Bat — Greenberg signed a one-day contract with the Miami Marlins.
His second at-bat was a strikeout, swinging, against New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
On Sunday, Greenberg, 33, was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He was among seven distinguished Jewish athletes inducted before a crowd of 400 gathered at the the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack, N.Y.
Scott Zlochower, the program director at the Suffolk Y JCC, said Greenberg “was extremely grateful and excited.”
“He emphasized that people are thrown curve balls in life. Unfortunately, he was thrown a 92 mile-an-hour fastball that him on the head,” Zlochower said. “[He was inducted] based on what he has gone through, his ability to overcome, and the connection he has with children as a positive role model.”
Greenberg, a Connecticut native, officially announced his retirement from baseball in February. In 2010, he helped start the natural supplement company Lu Rong Living.
Other inductees included tennis players Angela Buxton and Jay Berger, NFL agent Joel Segal, bowler Mark Roth and basketball players Barry Kramer and Don Goldstein.