The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 3, 2012

Player gets 2nd chance in majors after beaning



MIAMI (AP) — Only hours before getting his second chance in the big leagues, Adam Greenberg admitted he was nervous. Not about facing one of baseball's best pitchers — but about some pregame antics his new Miami Marlins teammates had in store for him.

Greenberg signed a one-day contract to play Tuesday night as a pinch-hitter in the Marlins' game against the New York Mets, who planned to start 20-game winner R.A. Dickey.

The game was Greenberg's first since he stepped to the plate for his major league debut in 2005 and was hit in the back of the head by the first pitch he saw — a 92-mph fastball that derailed his career.

Greenberg, 31, took part in batting practice and said he was overwhelmed by the positive reception from his new teammates, who planned to treat him like any other rookie. Catcher John Buck said Greenberg would don a USA Speedo, blue tennis shoes and pink goggles for a pregame performance in the clubhouse.

"I've got to go sing and dance in front of them like a real rookie," Greenberg said. "That, to be honest, is what I'm more nervous about."

The 5-foot-9 Greenberg said he hoped the game marks only the beginning of a career comeback. He didn't play in the minor leagues this year and hasn't been with a major league organization since 2008, but he still harbors hopes of a big-league job.

"Hopefully there is going to be a lot more of this. This is good stuff," Greenberg said at a pregame news conference. "I want to show everyone I can play, although you can never really truly do that in one at-bat, especially if it ends up being against Dickey."

Several Marlins played with Greenberg in the minors as he struggled to recover from his beaning.

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