Stepping in for my diminutive friend as he explores America's left coast in search of windmills against which to tilt and hoppy ales to savor. This story reeks of Rob's recurring segment involving a 1977 great song (seriously, it's overplayed and underrated) and his championing of the littl'uns among us. Sports fans likely heard all about it in the last 48 hours, but just in case you haven't . . .
Adam Greenberg is a 5'9" outfielder who came up with the Chicago Cubs in 2005. The very first big-league pitch he saw hit him in the head. It derailed more than his prospects for remaining in the bigs, it gave him blurred vision, migraines, and vertigo. Baseball was long forgotten.
In a tale equal parts Roy Hobbs, Moonlight Graham, and Casey, the kid (now 31) has gotten another turn at bat seven years later. Say what you will about Ozzie Guillen, but if he's got some karma to mend after his verbal pants-wettings of the past, he's trying. The Miami Marlins (Greenberg got beaned in Miami) saw to it that Adam Greenberg got an AB last night against the Mets. Just one more chance to knock some dirt off his spikes, step in, and eyeball a Cy Young contender.
R.A. Dickey, an inspirational story himself, did what he said he would, and refused to condescend to Greenberg. He respectfully treated him like a big league hitter, threw him three knuckleballs, and struck him out without fanfare. The fanfare came in the dugout, as more back-pats and high-fives were issued for a whiff than than I can ever recall.
Some nice little tidbits, as reported by ESPN:
"The Topps Co. announced via Twitter on Tuesday night that it is issuing an Adam Greenberg Marlins baseball card as part of its 2013 set."
"For seven years, Greenberg was one of only two players to be hit by a pitch in his lone big league appearance and never take the field. The other was Fred van Dusen with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1955. Van Dusen flew down from his home in Franklin, Tenn., to attend Tuesday's game. He threw out the first pitch and joined the rest of the crowd applauding Greenberg's comeback."
"Life throws you curveballs," Greenberg said. "Mine threw me a fastball at 92, and it hit me in the back of the head. I got up from it, and my life is great."
Pretty damn Gheorghey. Bite Rob, Randy Newman.
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In other new romantic comeback stories, I am going to see Adam Ant tonight at the Norva. Rob can attest to my curious fandom of Adam and the Ants and its suave leader. Looking for pirate / Native American attire to don tonight. I hope to stand and deliver good news about the comeback tour tomorrow. . .