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A lot of people want to see Adam Greenberg get an at bat in the bigs

Sep 4, 2012, 1:09 PM EDT

Adam Greenberg

Adam Greenberg made his major league debut for the Chicago Cubs in 2005. In his first trip to the plate he was hit in the head and suffered a severe, major league career-ending concussion and positional vertigo.

Though he came back and played in the Cubs, Dodgers, Royals and Angels organizations — and while he has taken his hacks in indy ball — a man named Matt Liston has started a push to get the Cubs to give Greenberg another chance at a major league at bat:

Sports activist Matt Liston, a diehard Chicago Cubs fan, has rallied more than 10,000 people who have signed a petition calling on the Cubs to give former player Adam Greenberg one more opportunity to bat in a Cubs uniform … “For anyone who’s ever dreamed of playing professional sports — Adam was there and had his dream taken from him with one pitch,” said Liston. “As a lifelong baseball fanatic, I want to see Adam get the at bat he deserved after working so hard in college and the minor leagues to pursue a career in Major League Baseball.”

I am sympathetic to the impulse, and it’s sad that Greenberg was never able to make it back.  But there are a lot of guys who never even got Greenberg’s chance. And a lot of guys who, even if given the chance, also had their careers ended by bad luck and injury.  Even if he’s never had an official at bat, he has had a plate appearance, and as everyone knows, that counts. And even if he gets one more shot, his real legacy is and always will be fighting for three years to make the bigs in the first place. Which is noble, honorable and is a far greater success than almost every other person who has played organized baseball.

I won’t mind if the Cubs give him another shot, but even though it makes me something of a killjoy, I don’t know why Greenberg should get it when no one else gets it. And I don’t know what it accomplishes.

  1. stackers1 - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Killjoy – Yes.

    • jayscarpa - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      I agree. You are a killjoy.

      • townballblog - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        That’s pretty heartless, Craig.

    • number42is1 - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      maybe… but just think about how many more sigs this just got thanks to Craig.

    • stoutfiles - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      If I were him, I wouldn’t want to get a pity at-bat because a bunch of people felt sorry for me. I’d rather give it everything I got and if I make it back to the big leagues, then I did it all on my own.

  2. elmaquino - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    It’d be fantastic PR, and it’s not like he could do any damage to their playoff chances. But If I’m not mistaken, you’d have to give him a contract to play and the MLB minimum is over $400,000: a lot for one at-bat. Not to mention you might be setting a precedent you don’t want to be setting.

    • number42is1 - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      400K pro-rated to one at bat so its basically nothing. I’m pretty sure that the Yanks did this for whatshisface actor a few yrs back. ALSO… the final series is the Vs the Astros so one bat would me less than zero difference.

    • okobojicat - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      For a minor leaguer called up, you only pay the pro-rated amount of $480,000, so he would get that for however many days he was up. The bigger issue is that he’s currently not on the 40 man roster so the Cubs would have to take someone off and put him on.

      Now, I think there are a whole lot of terrible baseball players on that list but I’m not sure if having to have one of them get through waivers is necessarily worth bringing this kid up. Lastly, I’m with Craig, you set a precedent that if you are bad in September, you do charity work. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

  3. amskollar - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Real life Moonlight Graham

    • phalatek6 - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      Moonlight Graham was the real life Moonlight Graham.

      • silversun60 - Sep 4, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        I wish I could give 50 thumbs up to that comment.

  4. Ben - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    David Laurilla did a really great interview with Greenberg over at BP a year or so ago. Well worth the read. Don’t think it’s behind the paywall.

  5. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Would love to see this. After hearing he got drafted by the Cubs I tried to keep an eye on him, as I played soccer against him in High School. Fastest kid I ever played against, and apparently a hell of a baseball players as well.

    If it’s one AB, what’s the big deal? Not like the Cubs are knocking on the doorsteps to the WS.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      Aside for it being a great story…I would love to see the kid get another AB. I signed the petition.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        for = from

    • midjerseyfatcat - Sep 4, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      I think they owe it to the kid to give him one more at bats just because he is so much like the entire organization. He career is so much like the year the Cubs lost their chance to go to the WS because of fan interference.

      • stex52 - Sep 4, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        They didn’t “lost their chance to go to the WS because of fan interference.” There is no certainty that Moises Alou was going to catch the ball in the first place. Given that it was Moises, I doubt it. And they were still leading in the game when it happened. They had to lose that game, and then they had to lose another game to be eliminated.

        I’m no Cubs hater. I was watching and rooting for Chicago. But the fact is that they folded under pressure like wet cardboard and then tried to blame it all on “fan interference.” I can tell that is a myth that may never die.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:17 PM

        lost their chance to go to the WS because of fan interference.

        Steve Bartman played SS for the Cubs? Because I’m pretty sure after that foul ball incident, the SS booted an easy double play grounder that would have got them out of the inning. He also must have played all 9 positions in the next game as the Cubs lost again.

        Damn that Bartman, damn him to hell!

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:15 PM

        Yeah…let’s just forget about the SS letting the ball go between his legs. Let’s also forget about them still having the lead. While we are at it…let’s also forget they lost the next game as well.

  6. succulentnipples - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM


  7. randall351 - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    He should get his AB against Clemens.

  8. Joe - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Given that this piece sits below the “Gleeman and the Geek” post, my brain read this as “A lot of people want to see Aaron Gleeman get an at bat in the bigs.” Now THAT would be charity.

  9. nelsonsaint - Sep 4, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    The 40-man roster is full.

  10. thatyankeedude - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Ya well since baseball is most popular in a country where second chances are passed out fricken hundreds of times why not give this guy his second chance?

  11. bobhamiltonchicago - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    This is exactly what the Cubs need to do to break the curse. What’s the worst that can happen? That they’ll lose and be 51 and 84?

  12. psousa1 - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    No, that would be dangerous. Theo might be inclined to sign him to a 7 year $120 million dollar contract.


    Disgusted, but oddly amused, Red Sox fan

  13. Chipmaker - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    If this happens, Greenberg becomes the answer to TWO trivia questions.

    I signed the petition last week.

  14. mogogo1 - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    The first question I would ask is “What does Greenberg think about this?” If he’s on board, then okay. But it’s quite possible he wouldn’t be. Some guys wouldn’t be so keen on having it handed to them out of sympathy. Not judging either way, but if I were the team I’d sure want to know he was down with the idea before calling him up. That’d ruin the good PR in a hurry.

  15. illumnus - Sep 4, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    I don’t disagree with Craig at all-I’m a diehard Cub fan, but I don’t think baseball wants to return to the Bill Veeck sideshow days, whether one wishes to argue that it would be good for the sport or not. I’d guess Greenberg turns it down behind the scenes, having preferred to earn his way back-he knows how hard his minor league brethren have all worked. Also, what of the pitcher who’s given the unenviable task of facing him? That’s a big lose-lose, as well. Long story short, what happened to Greenberg is tragic, but I bet this doesn’t happen.

  16. Cranky Cuss - Sep 4, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Yes, you are a killjoy. But thanks for linking to the petition so I could sign it.

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