Greenberg to get his #OneAtBat
The Miami Marlins either have a gigantic heart or a wise public relations department. Either way, the team’s otherwise meaningless game against the New York Mets Tuesday night has now become one of the must-see games of the season.
When the two teams that are a combined 38 games below .500 square off in the second-to-last game of the season, most fans won’t care who wins or loses or whether leading National League Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey earns victory No. 21 (something a Met pitcher hasn’t accomplished since Dwight Gooden in 1985). Instead, all of the attention will be on 31-year-old who signed a one-day contract with the Marlins.
Adam Greenberg will be granted his “#OneAtBat” thanks to a clever grassroots social media campaign by an independent filmmaker.
It was in more than seven years ago that Greenberg received the biggest break of his promising baseball career when he was called up by the Chicago Cubs. On July 9, 2005, he was summoned by manager Dusty Baker to pinch hit. Greenberg’s dream of playing in the Major Leagues was coming true! But his dream quickly turned to a nightmare when the first pitch he saw from the Marlins pitcher—a 92 mile-per-hour fastball—drilled Greenberg in the side of the head.
The results of being hit by that pitch were devastating. Greenberg suffered a concussion, blurred vision, loss of balance, and was simply never able to fully recover. He attempted to, toiling in the minor leagues for a few years. He also recently played for the Israel national baseball team. But entering his 30s, Greenberg had probably come to terms that his big league career started and finished in the blink of an eye.
But Cubs fan and filmmaker Matt Liston was moved by Greenberg’s story. Greenberg is one of only four MLB players to have been hit by a pitch in their only career at bat, and Greenberg’s was the only at bat that lasted just one pitch. So Liston put together a slick campaign and moving video in an attempt to get Greenberg “#OneAtBat.”
The Miami Marlins, the team that ironically prematurely ended his career, were ironically the team willing to give Greenberg a chance to relive his dream. Commissioner Bud Selig also had to grant a waiver of a rule, allowing Miami to sign Greenberg to a one-day contract.
Then, on national television on NBC’s Today Show, Miami informed Greenberg of his opportunity to get back into the batter’s box in a Major League stadium.
So when Greenberg is called to pinch hit Tuesday night, he’ll be getting the rare chance at redemption. The outcome of his #OneAtBat is insignificant. The storyline here is that Greenberg and Liston wouldn’t let his MLB career be a one-pitch nightmare. And the Miami Marlins were gracious enough, or smart enough from a public relations standpoint, to help Greenberg get back into the batter’s box once again.