Sports activist Matt Liston has gathered more than 10,000 signers to a petition on Change.org calling on the Chicago Cubs to give former player Adam Greenberg, a Guilford native whose family still lives here, one more opportunity to bat in a Cubs uniform.
(MLB) history whose career ended on the very first pitch he faced in 2005. Batting in the ninth inning in a nationally televised game against the Florida Marlins in July of 2005, Greenberg was hit in the back of the head by a 92 mile-per-hour fastball. The incident forced Greenberg out of the game immediately, causing a concussion that had lasting side effects for years.
“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, a die-hard Cubs fan. “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.”
Under Major League Baseball rules, Greenberg's plate appearance is recorded as a "hit by pitch," which does not qualify as an official at bat. Therefore, Greenberg has never had an official major league at bat, something Liston and his petition supporters want to change.
Liston's hope is to have Greenberg join the Cubs at Wrigley Field in a game from October 1-3 against the Huston Astros, a series that will end the season for the teams with the two worst records in the major leagues.
“Fans of baseball recognize that at the heart of the game is an emotional connection between players and fans,” said Liston. “The Cubs have a chance to make magic in an otherwise dreary year for the team, during their last home stretch of the season. They can send a message to millions of baseball fans everywhere that there’s still a goodness to the game of baseball, and give Adam the one at bat so many want to see him have.”
Greenberg today is in excellent physical shape and has been rehabbing, training and playing independent baseball for years in an attempt to get back to the majors. He will play for Team Israel on September 19-23 in a series of qualifying games for the World Baseball Classic next March.
“More than 10,000 signatures and growing is beyond incredible, not just in showing support for this cause, but representing the good in people,” Greenberg said of Liston’s petition. “This campaign is certainly bigger than an at bat. You have more than shown me why I will continue to train hard and play for the pure love of the game. Thank you for energizing me and hopefully we can pull this off together!”
Also supporting the campaign are several MLB players, former players and commentators, including Hall-of-Famer George Brett, Florida Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison, and sportswriter Peter Gammons, who all expressed support for Greenberg on Twitter.