Wednesday, October 3, 2012

'Cause It's Root, Root, Root For Greenberg


Isn't Baseball just the most splendid sport, eveh? 
Yes. Yes it is. 
Once again, it is playoff time in our national sport, but there is a most heartwarming story taking place now, which supercedes even those playoff matchups.  It is a story of a young man and his dream of playing in the majors.  And what boy among us red-blooded Americans hasn't thought about stepping to the plate, bat in hand, ready to tear the cover off the ball?

Seven years ago, Adam Greenberg was hit in the head with a pitch in his only at-bat in the majors. On Tuesday, amazingly, he stepped into the batter's box one more time. 

In one at-bat, a player can fail, succeed or transcend the sport. For Greenberg, his one shot seven years ago came down to one pitch, an errant throw from then-Marlins pitcher Valerio de los Santos that dropped him to the ground. 
In one at-bat, a ballplayer can become a hero, a goat or forgetable.  A few players get a basehit in that first AB; in this instance, Cubs pinch-hitter Adam Greenberg looked for healing.

Back on July 9, 2005, a stocky outfielder named Adam Greenberg was called upon by then-Cubs skipper Dusty Baker to pinch-hit. 
Imagine the nerves when a legend of the game points in your direction and tells you to grab a bat. Greenberg must have floated into the batter's box, making it almost amazing that he had the wits to try to duck from a pitch coming toward his head. 

While he attempted to get out of the way of the fastball, the pitch found the back of his head, the thud resounding throughout the stadium. The first pitch, and until Tuesday night, the only pitch he would see at the plate.

He would go on to suffer headaches, vertigo and other ramifications from the head trauma, according to ESPN. Greenberg had reached the majors, but his stint was relegated to one pitch not many could have avoided—hardly even the cup of coffee to the bigs others are afforded. 
The Miami Marlins gave Adam Greenberg a one-day contract, and he appeared in Tuesday's game against the New York Mets in Miami, as a pinch hitter. Mets fireballer R.A. Dickey appeared to pitch the first pitch slowly and right down the middle of the plate to Greenberg, a called strike one. Then Dickey threw two more pitches, both fastballs, which Greenberg swung at and missed, striking out.   His 1:40 minute at-bat and standing ovation can be watched on MLBVideo, here.


Adam Greenberg struck out, but stood tall, as great as any Mighty Casey there ever was, in his only credited at bat in the major leagues.  He won't make it into Cooperstown, but his legacy will.


3 comments:

The Local Malcontent said...

Back to Zerobama tomorrow, because even that TOO, takes a backseat to the wholesome joy which baseball brings.

Leticia said...

Hey, Mal! Sorry, I just never got into watching baseball. But I do remember my grandfather watching it constantly...

I like Rugby, football aka soccer and hockey.

The Local Malcontent said...

Come on, Leticia, just "take one for the team" and watch the vid--
no zombies....