As the NFL Season (YAY – the “real” refs are back!) chugs along and the NHL season seems doomed (again), the MLB wound down its season last week and forays into another wonderful Fall postseason.
So many storylines this time of year – Miguel Cabrera’s Triple Crown – the first in 45 years, the Oakland A’s making the playoffs, Baseball in the mid-Atlantic is actually good, the New York Yankees winning the AL East, Teddy won his first race, etc. But one recent event was one worth calling out. One instance that was noteworthy and deserved more than just a temporary spotlight. The only problem is, it could have been better. In my opinion, it was a Hit & A Miss.
Adam Greenberg was a budding ballplayer for the Chicago Cubs. In July of 2005, in his first plate in the big leagues ever, this happened:
The 92mph fastball from Valerio de los Santos of the Florida Marlins struck Greenberg right in the head. Greenberg suffered a concussion. This pitch not only injured him for this game, but essentially killed his career. Greenberg bounced around the minors and independent leagues trying to regain the skill set which landed him on the ACC All-Conference Team in 2002. However, still to this day, he suffers from positional vertigo.
Recently, an entrepreneurial filmmaker (who happens to be a Chicago Cubs fan) started an online petition on Change.org to give Greenberg one more at bat. Over 20,000 people signed the petition which states, in part, “Of the nearly 18,000 people to ever play Major League Baseball, only one had his career end on the very first pitch: Chicago Cubs player Adam Greenberg. Adam had to put his life and his career on hold after a tragic accident during his first plate appearance.”
You might know the story, he gets signed by the Marlins for a one day contract (the same team whose pitcher hit him) and has an at bat against knuckeball extraordinaire and Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey. Three pitches, three strikes.
Sure, the Marlins have their lumps and Ozzie Gullien has taken criticism over the years but here’s something they should get credit for. My problem is more with the Chicago Cubs. What were you thinking? You have the 2nd worst record in all of baseball, 36 games out of the division, 27 games out of the Wild Card. Further, the last three games of your season, your last homestand was against the Houston Astros, the only team with, you guessed it, the worst record in all of baseball, stumbling in being 42 games out of the division.
What better way for the Cubs organization to support this movement. The groundswell in support from the petition to the website to all of the PR, to the online chatter. The Cubs missed an incredible opportunity to stand up and do something right; while grabbing a headline or two amidst all of the playoff chatter. I mean, who is talking about the Cubs right now?
That is why, it was a “Hit & A Miss.”