The Miami Marlins have come to an agreement with Major League Baseball to allow former Chicago Cubs minor leaguer Adam Greenberg one plate appearance, seven years following a hit-by-pitch that almost ended his professional career.
The team has come to an agreement with Major League Baseball to allow former Chicago Cubs minor leaguer Adam Greenberg a chance at the plate. Greenberg was hit by a pitch by the Marlins' own Valerio de los Santos seven years ago in a pinch-hit appearance at Sun Life Stadium, and following the beanball Greenberg suffered from a variety of neurologic symptoms associated with post-concussion syndrome. These symptoms all but finished his professional career, as they held him back a significant amount.
But the Marlins will give him an opportunity to make an appearance on Tuesday, October 2, when the Marlins play the New York Mets in their final series and penultimate game of the season. Greenberg will donate the salary for the game to the Sports Legacy Institute via the Marlins Foundation according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.
Greenberg will receive a one-day contract with the Marlins following a massive online campaign spearheaded by lifelong Cubs fan and video producer Matt Liston called "One At-Bat." The associated video describes the movement and has many big baseball names such as current Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker. Liston elicited a major campaign with a petition over at change.org that had over 20,000 signatures, initially asking the Cubs to participate. The Cubs declined the opportunity despite a number of celebrity baseball names going along with the idea.
The Marlins finally agreed to the move with the season almost at its close. From the team's perspective, there are a number of advantages to making this move. The Marlins get the publicity of giving Greenberg his moment in the sun years after that moment should have come. The goodwill produced by such a move is a much-needed publicity touch for a team that has been ravaged by poor play, injuries, and other ugly results. But beyond that, the move is also a sort of redemptive process for the Fish. I am not certain anyone would have remembered Adam Greenberg if Liston had not begun this campaign, but Greenberg's professional career did come to a seeming close at the hands of the Marlins, or at least a Marlins pitcher. It would be a nice touch for the same team that played a hand in ending that career to play a hand at giving him one more shot at the big leagues, even if it is just one plate appearance.
The Marlins are doing this for the publicity and to perhaps feel a little better for themselves to give a player another opportunity. But for Adam Greenberg, this is more than just one at-bat. This is a symbolic return to the glory of the big leagues, even if it is for only a short time. And even then, who knows what might one day happen.