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Adam Greenberg strikes out in first official MLB at-bat

Oct 2, 2012, 9:22 PM EDT

adam greenberg getty Getty Images

Craig already explained why this whole stunt is rather silly, so we’ll go negativity-free in this post.

Adam Greenberg — who was plunked in the helmet by a pitch in his only previous major league plate appearance — finally registered an official MLB at-bat on Tuesday night against the Mets, striking out on three straight pitches from knuckleballer R.A. Dickey as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the sixth.

MLB.com has posted the video highlight.

Greenberg looked like an amateur in the batter’s box, which is fitting given that he didn’t play professional baseball this summer and batted just .259 in 106 games for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League in 2011. He signed a one-day contract with the Marlins this past weekend.

Greenberg was lifted from the game in the top of the seventh for Scott Cousins. So that’s that.

  1. randygnyc - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    And he faced the only knuckleballer in MLB. And currently a 20 game winner. And the probable 2012 CY award winner, to boot.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:12 PM

      So no pressure, right?

  2. Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Who did Scrooge McLoria arrange to have protecting him in the lineup – Muhammad Ali?

  3. thefalcon123 - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Let’s give comment props where they are do: On September 27th…

    unlost1 – Sep 27, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Mets; Dickey; 3 knuckleballs & a strikeout. HOORAY!
    it’s over, that was my carrer.
    Sounds like a perfect Seinfeld episode.

    9

    21

    Reply

  4. butchhuskey - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    He may have looked like an amateur, but this is the ultimate example of small sample size.

  5. nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    I’ve been watching MLB since before there were Padres and Expos, let alone teams in Florida, and I thought this so-called “stunt” was delightful, and there was not a dry eye in my house! Yeah, he whiffed, and is in excellent company among DicKey viKtims! Maybe he’ll earn another shot, maybe not, but everyone involved in this episode should feel very good about what they did. Good show.

  6. dcfan4life - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Its hard to compare this at bat to anything. He struck out on 3 straight pitches, not even touching the ball. Then again it was against the best knuckleballer maybe in history. He joins a long list of people to get struck out by Dickey. I know they really wanted him to play him, but in the sixth inning with Dickey still in it, wouldn’t it be nicer to wait another inning or 2. And i dont know whats wrong with letting him play the game and get 3 at bats. Why not, who cares? No one would say anything and it would give him a much better chance to do something memorable. No he was never going to get anything past today, but hell it be nice if he had a chance to foul the ball. Look at Billy Crystals 1 day contract a few years ago in spring training. He was in heaven just by making contact and nearly hitting a double down the line, even though he struck out as well. All im saying is its a great gesture, but it could have been so much more than 1 at bat against a cy young candidate with the most difficult pitch in baseball to hit.

  7. ningenito78 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    dcfan4life- best knuckleballer in history? Phil Niekro? You may be right but it’s one great season. Anyway, I guess it’s a cute story but, and I’m only speaking for myself, I was really turned off by the media blitz the kid did a couple months back. Came off a little disingenuous and self serving for me to get all back patty about. I’m sure there’s more than a few guys that only got one AB in the bigs that didn’t have an author pining for them to get ‘one last at bat’. I know I’m probably in the minority here, and I’m not saying the kid doesn’t have a nice story, but I don’t know. Way too much transparency and all around cheesiness for me. But to everybody that gets wet over this kind of stuff, by all means, have at it.

    • dcfan4life - Oct 3, 2012 at 1:42 AM

      According to ESPN, during their segment on sportcenter, Greenberg was one of only 2 guys in the last 60 years to get one at bat and be hit by a pitch during that at bat, which means they did not get an official at bat and are not in the record books. I think thats why they hyped it up so much and all this was done.

      • thefalcon123 - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:21 AM

        Of course they are in the record books. They are credited with a game played, a plate appearance and a hit by pitch. Do you think MLB only counts those if they have an official at bat at some point?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 3, 2012 at 3:08 AM

      Adam Greenberg and Fred Van Dusen were the only two I know of to have their only MLB At Bat taken from them by being hit by the pitch, not by being put out as many others have been. Fred’s sole plate appearance was for the Phils in ’55, and he was at this game and threw out the first pitch. As he was for 50 years before Adam’s misfortune, Fred is again the only man with one MLB plate appearance but zero official At Bats. And what would ball-yard nachos be without a decent helping of cheesiness?

      • blacksables - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:28 AM

        What about all of those who walked in their only plate appearance?

        Or sacrificed?

        Or hit a sacrifice fly?

        Or had a runner thrown out or picked off to end the inning and they came out of the game?

        I’ll bet there are a couple of hundred guys who had this happen. If you do it for one, then how do you justify not doing it for all of them?

        Robin Yount’s older brother hurt his arm warming up in his first game after being called in to relieve. He gets credit for a game, but never threw a pitch. Where is the cry for him to be given a chance to throw a pitch in a game?

        When does the insanity stop?

  8. tigerman3 - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Sounds like Moonlight Graham From field of Dreams. I know he was a real person but still. same premise 1 career game no officail at bat.

  9. IdahoMariner - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    I am firmly in the camp of what in the heck is the harm here? Not so much a negativity-free post.
    the at bat was awesome tonight. From what I have read, he is the only MLB player in history to get denied his at bat by being nailed in the head on the very first pitch, a 92 mph fastball. He was injured so badly he couldn’t even take his base. When he was trying to make it back to the majors – after being sent down to the minors to recover from the concussion and its symptoms – he endured derision from his manager, who, in that recent era of still-ignorance about the serious effects of concussions, told Greenberg he was lazy and a malingerer when Greenberg couldn’t see straight and was nauseous. Greenberg didn’t give up, but if his manager believed he was dogging it, he probably passed that opinion along to the guys making decisions about callups. and in a business where perception is half the battle, it’s no wonder he never got called up again. So, yeah, lots of guys try and don’t make it, and yes, the game itself and its structure mean a lot of those decisions are unfair and based on stuff other than actual ability and performance…so he really isn’t that different from every other minor league player. But I don’t get why it bugs you and Craig so much that a guy whose health and life were altered in such a dramatic fashion would be given the chance to just complete his dream, in a meaningless game for a team going nowhere. I mean, for once the game wasn’t cruel to a minor league guy, it was kind. I can live with that.

  10. icanspeel - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    I think it is great he got 1 more chance, but still.. they should have given him a chance against someone other than Dickey.

  11. thatyankeedude - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    That was depressing. But hey, he got to enjoy a win with the team.

  12. ningenito78 - Oct 3, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    They actually had a thing on camera where Greenberg actually shook hands with the LAST guy to get hit by a pitch in his last at bat. Seriously. I’m all about the ‘history of the game’ but that’s weak. This was treated like somebody was about to take Bonds’ (Aaron’s) HR record away.

  13. frinobulax - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:33 AM

    The whole “official at-bat” thing seems like a red herring; playing on the informal usage of the phrase to pretend to make something official that was never unofficial in the first place. There’s nothing unofficial about a plate appearance despite no mention of “official” in the phrase. An official at-bat is a subset, if you will, of a plate appearance.

    He was already in the record books. No, not with an “official AB” but only because of the technical definition. No wonder he swung at 3 straight pitches. Had he walked, according to the official at-bat mantra, there could be grounds for doing this all over again.

    I’m very happy for his being able to get another time up at the plate, but I’m also astounded by the lack of any discussion of the the fuzziness of the way the term official at-bat has been used in all this.

    If I’m missing something here, please set me straight.

  14. husky2score - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:57 AM

    Couldn’t have chose a better walk up song.

  15. abjr - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    He was a real baseball player when he got hit in the first instance. He was a gimmick tonight.

    Maybe he’s getting money from this project, but he’s lost a lot of what made his story compelling. This at bat while “official”, wasn’t real…he would not have got it but for a story and a promotion for the team.

    Better to leave tragically or leave as a cheap movie/tv stunt?

  16. makeham98 - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Pointless publicity stunt. He showed that he had no business there.

    What’s next? Army veterans who never had a shot at the big leagues? Guys who never made the bigs because a teammate used PEDs? Women?

  17. mdpickles - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Pretty neat story, however, if it were me, I’d prefer to keep my 1.000 OPS

  18. stlouis1baseball - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    The smile on that kids face is priceless. After a strikeout no less.
    Good for Adam Greenberg. Great story.

    Signed,
    A Get of My Lawn Type Of Guy

  19. thomas2727 - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    If a movie ever gets made about Adam I will go see it.

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