Adam Greenberg

Adam Greenberg

Paul Hadsall - Flickr

Adam Greenberg

February 21, 1981
5' 9"
180 lbs
Major League Debut:
7-09-2005 with

Adam GreenbergAdam Daniel Greenberg (born February 21, 1981, in New Haven, Connecticut) is a 5' 9", 180 pound left-handed outfielder with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League,[1] who is best known for being hit in the head in his first and only Major League plate appearance with the Chicago Cubs in 2005. He is one of two players who have been hit by a pitch in their only major league at bat, and never taken the field.[2]

Early Life and High School

Greenberg is Jewish.[2][3] He attended Guilford High School in Guilford, Connecticut. He was a four-year letterman on Guilford's baseball, basketball, and soccer teams.

He was baseball team captain as a junior and senior, four-time All-conference and all-area, and was the first player in Connecticut history to be named to four all-state teams.[3]

He was also soccer team captain for 1998 and 1999, and was a striker and four-year starter. Greenberg was a three-time all-conference, all-area, and all-state selection. He was named all-New England and All-America in 1998, during which season he set the school season record with 17 assists. He was also the team and area MVP in 1998, and helped lead Guilford to the state soccer title in 1996. He holds the school record for career assists, with 33.[4]

In basketball, Greenberg was point guard and team captain in 1998–99, and was named 2nd-team all-conference.

He was named Connecticut's male athlete of the year for 1998–99. He graduated with honors, and played summer baseball with the Madison, Connecticut American Legion Post 79 team.

College and Draft

Greenberg went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[2]

As a freshman center fielder and leadoff batter in 2000, he was named ACC Rookie of the Year, was 2nd-team All-ACC, was a Freshman All-America pick by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America magazines, and was named to the All-Tournament team at the NCAA Regional. He led all Tar Heel regulars in batting average (.386), hits (98), runs (69), triples (7; leading the ACC), stolen bases (28), and slugging percentage (.594), had a team-high 34 multi-hit games, a 21-game hitting streak, and 3 leadoff home runs. In the summer of 2000, he participated in the U.S. National Team Trials, and played with the Wilson Tobs of the Coastal Plain League, stealing a team-high 15 bases.

As a sophomore in 2001, he batted .310 and led the team in runs (52), walks (43), and stolen bases (29; leading the ACC), and on-base percentage (.444). In the summer of 2001, he played for the Chatham A's of the Cape Cod League. As a junior in 2002, he hit .337, stole 35 bases, scored 80 runs, homered 17 times, and again led the ACC with 7 triples. He was named to the All-Conference Team. In 2002, he was named a Jewish Sports Review College Baseball First Team All-American, along with future major leaguers Craig Breslow and Sam Fuld.[5]

He was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 9th round of the 2002

Major League Baseball Draft

Minor leagues

Adam Greenbergn 2002, Greenberg hit .224 for the Lansing Lugnuts, and .384/.500/.575 in 21 games for the Daytona Cubs, swiping 15 bases in 17 games.

Greenberg spent the 2003 season with Daytona and put up a .299/.387/.410 line, stealing 26 bases in 35 attempts. In 2003, when Executive Editor of Baseball America Jim Callis was asked whether he thought Greenberg had a chance to be a starter, or was destined to be a backup, he responded: "Very good character guy, often compared to John Cangelosi, more of a fourth or fifth outfielder." [6]

In 2004, Greenberg hit .291 with a .381 OBP for Daytona, with 12 triples in 91 games (tying for the Florida State League lead), and moved up to the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, where the he put up a .274 batting average in 33 games. His season ended with the Iowa Cubs. Overall, his 14 triples tied him for 3rd-best in the minor leagues.

Greenberg began 2005 with West Tennessee, hitting .269 with a .386 on-base percentage with 9 triples and 15 steals. He spent three months of the winter playing baseball in Venezuela, playing center field and leading off.[7]

In 2006, Greenberg hit .179 for the Diamond Jaxx and .118 for Iowa, and was released by the Chicago Cubs organization on June 2, 2006. Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers, he was assigned to the Jacksonville Suns, hitting .228, but had an excellent .387 on-base percentage (his minor league average), as he had more walks than hits. He also dominated lefties, with a .455 batting average, and hit .313 with runners on base. Following this stint in the Dodgers' farm system, Greenberg played for the Kansas City Royals organization. The Kansas City Royals agreed to terms with Greenberg on a minor-league contract on December 5, 2006.

Greenberg played the 2007 season with the Royals' Double-A Wichita Wranglers in the Texas League. He batted .266 with a .373 on-base percentage (10th in the league), a league-leading 11 triples,[8] 13 sacrifice hits (2nd in the league), 74 walks (tied for 4th in the league), and 23 stolen bases (5th in the league) in 467 at-bats, while leading the team with 73 runs scored.[9]

In December, the Royals signed Greenberg to a minor league contract for 2008.[10] Unable to gain a spot in the Triple-A Omaha Royals outfield, Greenberg was granted free agency by Kansas City. After a brief stint with the Independent Bridgeport Bluefish near his hometown of Guilford, in which he batted .289 with a .450 on base percentage, Greenberg signed a contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and was assigned to the Double-A Arkansas Travelers.[11] There, he batted .271 with a .361 on base percentage, and 16 steals in 262 at bats.

On February 23, 2009, Greenberg signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds and was invited to minor league spring training.

He did not make the team in spring training, and played with the Independent League Bridgeport Bluefish. In an August 8, 2009, game, Jim Heuser's first pitch sailed behind Greenberg, who yelled out to Heuser. Greenberg was then drilled by a 2–2 pitch and went to charge the mound, but pulled back. Both benches cleared and there was a shove or two in the middle of the pack.[12] He had 53 steals, the team's single season record.[2]

Greenberg finished the 2010 season with the Bluefish batting .258 in 105 games, with a team-high 75 walks.[2]

He played outfield for the Bluefish again in 2011, his fourth year with the team.[2] He faced De Los Santos for the first time since he was hit in the head by the pitcher in his lone major league experience, and this time he singled.[2] Greenberg said:

It was a big deal. As much as I might try to pretend it wasn’t. It’s been 5½ years, and to face him again in a game that meant something and get the result, to get a hit off him, it was a special moment.... It brings things full-circle. You have the what-if stuff, ‘what if he threw that first pitch for a strike 5½ years ago?’.... The fact is, it happened.[2]

The personable Greenberg led the Bluefish in several categories in the 2011 season, including triples, walks and stolen bases.

Major Leagues

Adam Greenberg"The first thing going through your mind is, 'This guy's dead,'"[13]
— Valerio de los Santos, after hitting Greenberg in the head with a fastball

On July 7, 2005, Greenberg, was called up to the Cubs' major league team from their West Tennessee Double-A affiliate. To date, his Major League career consists of a single plate appearance for the Cubs. Pinch hitting in the 9th inning against the Florida Marlins, in an ESPN Sunday night game on July 9, 2005, Greenberg was hit directly in the back of his head by a 92-mile-per-hour fastball on the very first pitch from Valerio de los Santos.[14][2] Greenberg suffered a mild concussion as a result of the beaning, and was immediately removed from the game. (Carlos Zambrano was sent in to pinch-run for Greenberg, and eventually came around to score the Cubs' fifth run in an 8-2 victory.)

After a few weeks of rehab he returned to West Tennessee with the intention of rejoining the big-league organization shortly. A couple of games at the Double-A level made Greenberg realize that the effects of the pitch had not yet faded.

"Just bending over to tie my shoe left me with headaches for hours," he said. For weeks, Greenberg slept upright, the only way to tolerate the excruciating headaches.[13] He spent the rest of the 2005 season on the 15-day disabled list, and still suffers from positional vertigo.[14]

His career on-base percentage is 1.000 and, having zero at-bats and no chances on defense, he has no batting average or fielding percentage. While many players have had careers consisting of a single at-bat, Fred Van Dusen is the only other player to be hit with a pitch in his first and only plate appearance without taking the field. That was on September 11, 1955, while Van Dusen was playing for the Philadelphia Phillies.[15]


   1. ^ "Roster". Retrieved August 4, 2011.
   2. ^ a b c d e f g h Eric Montgomery (July 28, 2011). "Greenberg Singles". Shoreline Times. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
   3. ^ "Player Bio: Adam Greenberg :: Baseball". February 21, 1981. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
   4. ^ ".". Retrieved August 4, 2011.
   5. ^ "Weinberg Named Baseball All-American". July 22, 2002. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
   6. ^ 403 Forbidden
   7. ^ ".". Retrieved August 4, 2011.
   8. ^ "Texas League". Texas League. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
   9. ^ "2007 Player Statistics: Adam Greenberg". February 21, 1981. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ By Dick Kaegel / "The Official Site of The Kansas City Royals: News: Mailbag: Where is reliever Braun?". Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  12. ^ "Big innings doom Barnstormers – OurSports Central – Independent and Minor League Sports News". OurSports Central. August 8, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  13. ^ a b ".". Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Greenberg won't let dream slip away – MLB – ESPN". March 16, 2007. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  15. ^ "Van Dusen feels Greenberg's pain – MLB – ESPN". March 16, 2007. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 

External links

    * "Greenberg ready for bigger things; Hopes to make it back to Majors, leave last at-bat a footnote," 2/24/06
    * "Minor League's Top Jewish Prospects," 5/10/06
    * "Greenberg won't let dream slip away," 3/16/07
    * "Greenberg, Fuld remind us why we love baseball," 4/22/09
    * "SI Report: Adam Greenberg Fights to get back to Majors, 8/13/09

Adam Greenberg, Chicago Cubs
Share |