Adam Greenberg's short Baseball Reference page tells a story: one big-league game played seven years ago, one plate appearance, one hit-by-pitch. On July 9, 2005, Greenberg, a pinch hitter, stepped to the plate to make his major-league debut, as a member of the Chicago Cubs. The first pitch he saw — a 92-mile-an-hour fastball thrown by Valerio De Los Santos of the Marlins — hit Greenberg in the head. He struggled with post-concussion symptoms, and though he'd play for a number of minor-league teams, he couldn't make it back to the majors. Via Big League Stew, he's currently one of four position players to have been hit by a pitch in his lone big-league plate appearance. He's the only one of those four that was hit with the first pitch he saw.
Filmmaker and Cubs fan Matt Liston started a petition to get Greenberg another chance to step into the batter's box with Chicago, collecting 25,000 online signatures. He also produced a video as part of his One At-Bat campaign, but the Cubs weren't having it. But this is where the story takes a happy turn: The Marlins — Greenberg's opponent in that 2005 game — will sign him to a one-day contract, and let him bat in a game next week. It's worth noting that real one-day contracts don't actually exist; as Big League Stew points out, signing Greenberg would normally require the Marlins to drop someone from their 40-man roster. But Miami received permission to give Greenberg, now 31, a plate appearance next Tuesday at Marlins Park, in the team's penultimate game of the season. Are the Marlins aware that this is great PR for the organization? Sure. But, still, good on them. Here's Greenberg, holding back tears on the Today show this morning:
The opponent in the game (which won't affect any postseason races) will be the Mets. R.A. Dickey is the scheduled starter. We know Dickey's gunning for the Cy Young Award and all, but is it wrong that we kind of want him to groove one?