Last week, I made a claim that Clay Rapada was at least tied for the shortest stint as a Cub with a mere 1/3 of an inning. I mean how could you possibly get into a game and not play at least that much, right?
Well, I was wrong. In the case of Adam Greenberg that is exactly what happened.
I think most people who follow baseball, or at least did last season, know Greenberg's story. For those who don't, you have to go all the way back to 2005. Scratch that, let's go back to 2002. The Cubs selected him in the 9th round of that year's draft and played for the Lansing Lugnuts (Single A) and Daytona Cubs (High A).
In 2003, he played for Daytona the entire year, but after starting 2004 there, he bumped up to Double-A West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx and got into one game with Triple-A Iowa Cubs.
Back to 2005, Greenberg started the season with the Diamond Jaxx but got the call to the big leagues in early July. With the Cubs leading the Marlins 4-2 in the top of the 9th inning on July 5, 2005, Greenberg made his Major League debut pinch hitting for pitcher Will Ohman. The very first pitch from Valerio De Los Santos hit Greenberg in the back of the head. Carlos Zambrano came in as a pinch runner when Greenberg was removed from the game.
He returned to the minors shortly after for some rehab but ended up spending the rest of the season on the disabled list. In 2006, Greenberg was hitting .168 between Iowa and West Tennessee and the Cubs released him in June. He got picked up by the Dodgers within the week but was granted free agency after the season, never making it past their Double-A team.
The Royals signed him for 2007, but again spent the season with their Double-A affiliate and was granted free agency afterwards. They re-signed him to a minor league contract for 2008 but was released at the end of Spring Training. He started the season in the independent Atlantic League with the Bridgeport Bluefish before signing a contract with the Angels and spending the rest of the season with their Double-A affiliate, the Arkansas Travelers.
Again granted free agency following the season, Greenberg returned to the Bluefish where he spent the past couple of seasons.
Last season, a petition was started (who knew those things work?) to get Greenberg an official at-bat. The Marlins signed him to a one game contract and was brought in to pinch hit in the 6th inning against the Mets on October 2, 2012. And who was on the mound that day? Um, only eventual Cy Young winner, knuckleballer RA Dickey. How fair was that?
So Greenberg got his at bat, a 3 pitch strikeout but was replaced in the lineup after the inning. No defensive inning played.
He signed a contract with the Orioles for 2013 but didn't make the team out of Spring Training and played this season again for the Bluefish.
I have three official Adam Greenberg cards in my collection, with a couple more that I know of. The first two are Cubs cards, a 2004 Bowman and a 2004 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres.
The other is a 2013 Topps card.
The Bowman card has a a chrome version and Topps Total also included Greenberg in their 2004 set with a base card and silver parallel. I guess Greenberg also has all the 2013 Topps parallels too but since they're Marlins cards, I won't be pursuing those.
Good luck to Adam in 2014!