As you all will recall, Matt Murton and Adam Greenberg were called up from AA Tennessee at the same time. Back then, we all thought Murton’s red curls hung the moon and we were all excited to see him hit (oh, 2005 Julie . . there’s so much I would like to go back in time and warn you about, yet I cannot). Greenberg came along as his travel buddy, and made his first and last plate appearance on July 7, 2007. Greenberg stepped up the plate, dug in, and was promptly beaned in the noggin by by a 92-mile-per-hour fastball by Valerio de los Santos.
Sure, Greenberg kicked around the minors for a little bit, but he never made it back to the show.
After a few weeks of rehab he returned to West Tennessee with the intention of rejoining the big-league organization shortly. A couple of games at the Double-A level made Greenberg realize that the effects of the pitch had not yet faded.
“Just bending over to tie my shoe left me with headaches for hours,” he said. For weeks, Greenberg slept upright, the only way to tolerate the excruciating headaches.[He spent the rest of the 2005 season on the 15-day disabled list, and still suffers from positional vertigo.
So yes, the Cubs have their very own Moonlight Graham, and we can help him recapture the magic one last time without having to raze any corn fields or build anything or disturb J.D. Salinger (RIP).
(follow me below the fold for exciting details!)
Thanks to the power of the internets, there’s a Change.org petition going around to get Adam Greenberg one last at bat:
Of the 17,500 people to ever play Major League Baseball, only one had his career end on the very first pitch: Chicago Cubs player Adam Greenberg. Adam had to put his life and his career on hold after a tragic accident during his first plate appearance.
Batting in the ninth inning in a nationally televised game against the Florida Marlins in 2005, Greenberg was drilled in the back of the head by a 92 mile-per-hour fastball. The accident forced Greenberg out of the game immediately, causing a concussion that had lasting side effects for years.
Due to Major League rules, when Adam was hit, his at bat was recorded as a plate appearance, not an official at bat. That means that there is no record that Adam Greenberg had an at bat in a Major League game, despite the years of hard work and dedication he put into being a ball player in high school, college, and in the Minor Leagues.
So don’t be a jerk and sign the petition. It’ll take you 10 seconds and, more importantly, it will enable Adam to tell his grandkids that he “officially” batted in the major leagues. Consider your good deed for the day accomplished.
In somewhat related news, the Cubs lost yesterday (though Jeff Samardzija pitched well AGAIN), Chris Rusin starts today, and someone named Miguel Socolovich is now in the bullpen.
The Cubs will take another shot at the Nats tonight at 6:05 pm CT on CSN. Can you wait? I can’t even wait.