Disappointment comes in many forms. For many of us, a door we thought led to our dreams will slam in our face. For others, the door will slam on them while a foot or hand is caught in the door frame. Too many people give up when this happens. They turn and walk away. The don’t look for a window or other door. Hell, they don’t even try to kick down the door that just slammed in their face.
Not Adam Greenberg. Adam is a “kick the door down” type of guy. Adam was a talented prospect in the Chicago Cubs system after being drafted in the ninth round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft.
He was called up to the majors three years later. It was a dream come true for the talented outfielder from Connecticut.
“It was the single-most happiest, greatest moment of my life,” Adam recalls.
But the happiness didn’t last long. The first pitch Adam faced was a fastball that came in too high and close. He was struck in the head, just under his helmet right behind his ear. Adam suffered a mild concussion and planned to return to the Cubs after a few weeks of rehab. But that wild pitch left more than just a bruise. Adam fought bouts of vertigo and lasting headaches for weeks. Life had different plans, but Adam continued to compete. Adam played minor league baseball on and off and some with the Israeli national team, but never came close to making a major league roster again.
A film maker and baseball fan, Matt Liston, became interested in Adam’s story and started the national movement “One at Bat” as a push to get Adam his first official Major League at-bat (because he never finished the at bat, Adam was not in the statistical book).
After over 22,000 people signed the online petition and major news outlets learned of Adam’s story and Matt’s campaign, One at Bat was a success. Miami Marlins’ president David Samson knew of Adam’s story – he was with the (then) Florida Marlins that fateful day when one of their pitchers accidentally hit Adam. David went to the Miami ownership group and convinced them to let Adam have one more at bat. Owners agreed.
The 31-year-old outfielder will step into the batter’s box tonight for the Miami Marlins and swing away. The Marlins signed Adam to a one-day contract for tonight’s game. It is the opportunity to finish the dream on a door that looked forever closed. Despite the odds, Adam never gave up and a stranger’s act of kindness will now allow him the chance to fulfill his dream.
One night. One chance. One swing. Adam’s chance to compete will finally arrive tonight.