One of baseball’s top stories of the year took place this past September in Miami. Seven years after his lone previous career plate appearance, the Miami Marlins signed Adam Greenberg to a one-day contract and brought him into a game as a pinch hitter against the New York Mets on October 2nd. Greenberg struck out in his lone at bat against R.A. Dickey (who won the league strikeout title by just one), but was at last able to get his first career at bat in the record books.
Greenberg had last seen a Major League batter’s box on July 9, 2005. Then playing for the Chicago Cubs, Greenberg came to the plate against Marlins pitcher Valerio De Los Santos. He was struck in the head by a pitch, needed to be helped off the field, and nearly saw his life – let alone his career – end.
He missed the remainder of that 2005 season while recovering, but would return to the diamond the following season. He’d spend those next two years in the minor leagues, playing mostly at Double-A. By 2008 he’d find himself playing in the Independent Atlantic League, where he’d hit .255/.371/.366 over 1,611 plate appearances in four seasons before joining the Marlins at the end of September.
Greenberg went to this year’s Winter Meetings in person with the hopes of landing an opportunity somewhere. After a few weeks of negotiations, he has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles for the upcoming season. The 31 year old outfielder did not receive an invitation to Spring Training, but he’s likely just thrilled at the chance to continue playing.