Adam Greenberg, who grew up in nearby Guilford, has been working out, toning up and getting in shape for the 2013 baseball season. He has a chance to get back in uniform, back in centerfield and play ball!
“I’ll be training for February and March and hopefully at the end of March, I end up making the Triple A team with the Orioles, which is in Norfolk, Virginia,” he explains. “Hopefully from there, obviously play well, and get an opportunity to play with the major leagues.”
Greenberg is the son of Mark and Wendy Greenberg and attended Guilford High School, where he was a four-year letterman in baseball, soccer, and basketball. He started his Major League baseball career with the Chicago Cubs, following his junior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unfortunately his major league career was short-lived.
During his first at-bat in 2005 he was hit by a fastball before he even got to swing the bat. He was left with a concussion that caused vertigo and vision problems.
Fast forward to October 2, 2012 when Greenberg, 31, made it back to the majors. Donning a Florida Marlins' shirt, emblazoned with #10, Greenberg got his chance to register an official MLB at bat. On a one day contract Greenberg joined the team as a pinch hitter. This was thanks to the efforts of Matt Liston and a change.org/OneABat petition.
“Greenberg is the only player in Major League Baseball (MLB) history who had his career end on the very first pitch he faced,” says a change.org press release. ”Batting in the ninth inning in a nationally televised game against the Florida Marlins in 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.”
Greenberg is quick to point out that he is healthy and symptom free today and there is absolutely nothing that precludes him from playing baseball and playing it well.
“I’m healthy, I am 100% healthy,” he stressed. “I feel good. I think the most important thing is I’m focused and ready for what’s in front of me.”
Before reporting for spring training at the Orioles training facility this week, Greenberg spent some time in Southern Florida with Hitting Coach Wally Horsman. Along with a couple major league ballplayers he benefitted from some personal training on the fine details of hitting, in addition to defense, base running and conditioning.
Prior to being sidelined with injuries he worked with Horsman and refers to him as “the guy I trust most to get to the big league again.”
Greenberg explained that working with Horsman was like attending a mini training camp.
“One of the things that he teaches best is hitting approach. With baseball, and hitting in general, it’s ‘the more you know your swing the quicker you’re going to make adjustments when things go south.’ We just hone in on the most minor details of the swing itself. It’s just a little more knowledge of your approach and repetition. That’s really what it’s about.”
As he begins his spring training with the Norfolk Tides, he admits that the lure of the major leagues is never far from his mind. He is looking forward to the opportunity to meet and mingle with Orioles players.
“I’m sure I will be going over to major league games, hopefully often, to get an opportunity to play in front of those guys at that level,” he said.
While he notes, “a lot of teams have certainly gone younger” since he started playing major league baseball back in 2005, he is quick to add, “At the end of the day baseball is baseball.
“The ball is the same size, the mound’s still 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate, the bases are ninety feet, so the game is the game and I’m just fortunate to still have an opportunity to go out and play the game I’ve loved for my entire life.”
He knows he is in a very unique position, coming back to the field after years away. He welcomes being in the spotlight and is anxious to showcase his talents on the field.
“What I’ve done my whole career, to this point, is just work hard and prepare,” said Greenberg. “I’ve prepared myself each and every year for opportunities to be in front of people as a baseball player.
“So to have an opportunity where the eyes are going to be on me, I welcome it with open arms because I’m prepared for that opportunity. I’m mentally ready…to make sure I keep on my game and keep working hard.”