A high school baseball star in Guilford, Connecticut, where district 12 is located, and later at the University of North Carolina, Greenberg was beaned on the first pitch of his very first plate appearance for the Chicago Cubs by then-Florida Marlins reliever Valerio de los Santos on July 9, 2005, and had to come out of the game. Unfortunately, Greenberg never made it back to the big leagues after what turned out ultimately to be a career-ending injury. He suffered a concussion and numerous other severe health issues such as vertigo as a result of the ninth-inning incident in his MLB debut.
Because the at-bat was incomplete, Greenberg never got credit for an official appearance in the big leagues.
Greenberg, a left-handed-batting outfielder, was released by the Cubs in 2006 and then bounced around with several minor league teams and later with the Bridgeport (Conn.) Bluefish of the Independent League.
Adam Greenberg’s supporters and fans subsequently waged a campaign to get him to the big leagues for an official at-bat. About 27,000 people signed a petition on Change.org to convince Major League Baseball to “step up to the plate for Adam.”
With the approval of the baseball commissioner, the Miami Marlins agreed to offer Greenberg a one-day contract seven years after his brief MLB debut. On October 2, 2012, Greenberg led off the bottom of the sixth inning as a pinch hitter against the Mets’ knuckleballer, R.A. Dickey, to a standing ovation. He struck out on three pitches, but got his name included in the MLB record book, as well as in baseball folklore.
Reacting to what happened that night in Miami, a nonetheless enthusiastic Greenberg spoke highly of the at-bat.
“It was magical. The energy in the stadium was something I never experienced, and I don’t know if I will ever experience it again. You could just feel the genuine support. It was awesome,” Men’s Journal reported.