Adam Greenberg gets his second chance

Greenberg gets his official MLB at-bat as a pinch-hitter for the Marlins
10/02/2012 9:05 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
More than seven years after his last (and only other) Major League plate appearance, Adam Greenberg walked to the plate to lead off the top of the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s Mets-Marlins game, and got a standing ovation from the crowd at Marlins Park in Miami.

Three pitches later, he received another loud cheer as he walked back to the dugout, the recipient of perhaps the only time a home crowd had cheered one of its own striking out to begin an inning.

It would be Greenberg’s only appearance in the game, as he was replaced defensively by Scott Cousins for the bottom of the sixth, but the strikeout was perhaps the most satisfying of his career. His story has been well documented, and he now has the official at-bat he was denied when he was hit in the head by the first (and only) pitch he ever saw as a Major Leaguer back in 2005.

Greenberg’s journey to return to the Majors came to a pre-conclusion last week, when the Marlins announced they would sign him to a one-day contract to allow him to realize his Major League dream one more time.

The team did just that on Tuesday – transferring infielder Nick Green from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list to open a roster spot – and Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen made good on his promise to get Greenberg into the game against the Mets, sending him up to pinch-hit for left fielder Brent Peterson to open the sixth.

It was a short at-bat for Greenberg, who took a knuckleball from Mets starter R.A. Dickey for a called strike one and then swung through two more knucklers to become Dickey’s seventh strikeout victim on the night – but it gave him an official batting average in the Major League Baseball record books.

Guillen had said on Monday that he wouldn’t force Greenberg’s insertion into a close game, but with the Marlins up 2-0, Guillen felt the time was right.

And even if the strikeout means that Greenberg’s official batting average is .000, it still means his journey has come full-circle…but as the 31-year-old said in a pre-game news conference, said journey will hopefully continue.

“Hopefully there is going to be a lot more of this. This is good stuff," Greenberg said earlier Tuesday. "I want to show everyone I can play, although you can never really truly do that in one at-bat.”

Whether or not his comeback continues is to be determined, but Greenberg does at least have a 1.000 in one category: his winning percentage in games played. The Cubs beat the Marlins 8-2 in that fateful July 9, 2005 game, and on Tuesday, Greenberg and his Marlins topped the Mets 4-3 in 11 innings.

"Life throws you curveballs," Greenberg said. "Mine threw me a fastball at 92, and it hit me in the back of the head. I got up from it, and my life is great."

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