Adam Greenberg is finally getting his chance to bat again.
The Guilford native whose entire major league baseball career began and ended during his first at-bat in 2005 after he got hit by a pitched fastball, and before he even got to swing the bat, was promised a one-day contract today by the Miami Marlins. Greenberg, now a Branford resident, will have his at-bat with the Marlins on Tuesday, Oct. 2, when the team plays the New York Mets.
The Marlins surprised Greenberg with the offer this morning during his appearance on NBC’s Today Show. Greenberg was being interviewed by host Matt Lauer when Lauer introduced a surprise appearance by David Samson, the Marlins’ president. Samson appeared via satellite and made Greenberg the offer.
Greenberg quickly, but humbly, accepted.
“I can’t express how much this means to me,” a beaming Greenberg said during the interview. “Baseball in general doesn’t owe me anything. From the bottom of my heart, I’ll be ready for it, that I can assure you.”
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Samson said the Marlins decided to offer Greenberg another chance at bat after hearing of his story.
“This is someone who deserves one at bat, so Adam, are you ready to have one at bat?” Samson said. “We’re going to put you in uniform and you’re going to be a member of the team … so get ready.”
Samson said the event is not intended as a publicity stunt and that there will be “no easy pitches” for Greenberg.
“You’re going to have a chance to swing, so you better swing Adam.”
Greenberg will appear again on the Today Show the day after the game to report to Lauer how things turned out.
The Marlins’ offer comes after an online petition campaign waged by sports fan Matthew Liston, who garnered some 22,000 signatures on Change.org to get Greenberg another chance in the major leagues.
“Of the nearly 18,000 people who have played professional baseball in the history of the sport, Adam Greenberg was the only player who saw his career end on the first pitch. But because of the support of tens of thousands of fans around the country, we now get to change that, and breathe new life into Adam’s baseball career,” said Liston. “When Adam takes the plate on Tuesday with the Miami Marlins, it will be a magical moment in sports history -- not only for Adam, who has worked hard for this moment, but for baseball fans everywhere who love the emotion and thrill of the game.”