Thursday, December 30, 2010
2004 Topps Total, Adam Greenberg
#789 Adam Greenberg
If you have never heard of Adam Greenberg, than you are in for a treat. Adam has the distinction of being one of the two players in the history of the game to be hit by a pitch in their only Major League plate appearance without ever taking the field. The other player was the Phillies Fred Van Dusen in 1955 and I do not know what ever happened to him. But, I do know what happened to Adam and it isn't a pretty story.
Adam's Major League hit by pitch was a 92 mile an hour fastball to the back of the head. It occurred in July of 2005 and it gave him a mild concussion. While he no longer suffers any symptoms of the beaning, he still has a hard time digging in at the plate and getting ready to hit (according to his manager this past season via this ESPN article). But the good news is that Adam is still playing ball and looking for another shot at the Major Leagues.
Prior to his Major League plate appearance, Adam was a prospect for the Cubs that had been called up from AA. By the following season, Adam had been released by the Cubs after hitting under .180 in just over a hundred at-bats at AA and AAA. He was picked up by the Dodgers and he spent the remainder of the season playing for their AA team and he ending up hitting .228 for them. He moved on to the Royals AA team in 2007 and he hit .266 in 132 games. The Royals released him after the season and he played for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League to start the 2008 season. He did good enough there to be picked up by the Angels and assigned to their AA squad. He finished the '09 campaign with them batting .271.
Unfortunately, that was Adam's last season playing affiliated ball. Since then, he has spent the past two seasons playing for the Bluefish. He only hit .245 in his first season there, but he was able to raise his average to .258 this past season.
The good news is that Adam is still playing ball and is trying to get another shot at the Majors. He will be thirty when this next season starts, so his window is starting to close. But, I wish him the best of luck.
I was fortunate to get this card signed for me by Paul, of Paul's Random Stuff, at an Atlantic League game in 2009.
I got to see Adam play a couple of times as a member of the Wichita Wranglers in 2007. At the time, I knew that I had seen a card of him (this one), but I had no idea of the story he had. Too bad I hadn't got back into autographs a year earlier.
Also, I like the sleeveless Cubs jersey on this card. It's just too bad that the team didn't wear them. Like Alberto Callaspo from a couple of days ago, this is probably just a photo-shopped minor league picture.