If Adam Greenberg was stock traded on Wall Street in 2012, it could certainly be said that his fourth quarter reported a tremendous rise. Following a crazy, yet thrilling end to the 2012 Major League Baseball season that saw him receive a one-day contract with the Miami Marlins in September, the Guilford Indians' alum has a chance to yield even greater profits in 2013 as the Baltimore Orioles agreed to a minor league contract with the shoreline slugger on Dec. 20.
"The last three months have been such a whirlwind for me," says Adam, who is a Branford resident. "I thought before all of this that my baseball career was at a standstill. The opportunity the Marlins presented me, though, put a lot of things in perspective. It helped me keep my mind focused and it reenergized me. I now have a new opportunity with the Orioles and it is another dream come true."
Greenberg, 31, first stepped into the big leagues in 2005, when he was hit in the head by the Marlins' Valerio De Los Santos on the first pitch thrown to him as a member of the Chicago Cubs. After stints in the minor league organizations of the Cincinnati Reds, the Kansas City Royals, and the Los Angeles Dodgers (in which he had a .250 batting average with 11 home runs, 76 RBI, and 166 runs), Adam played for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic qualifying round last year.
Taking Miami's contract offer, Greenberg then returned on Oct. 2 for his one plate appearance with the Marlins against then-Mets' knuckleballer and 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, who struck out Greenberg swinging on three pitches. Despite the strikeout that was recorded in the books that night, the former Guilford All-State and All-Area player has nothing but positive sentiments about the experience of taking his talents, for one day, to South Beach.
"I spoke to Marlins' owner Jeffrey Loria, along with some of the other guys after the at-bat, and could not thank them enough," says Adam, who must still go to Baltimore's Spring Training to make the club's minor league system. "I still keep in close touch with them and they will always be a part of my life. I even got a text from Miami President David Samson saying congratulations on the signing. They were a classy group of guys and I was beyond content with the experience."
As Adam headed into the offseason-like most MLB players, owners, and executives-he flew down to Nashville for the winter meetings in December. In an attempt to pitch himself to any of the 30 big league clubs, Adam came across an old friend in former Cubs' shortstop and teammate Alex Gonzalez, who used his new profession as a sports agent to represent the MLB hopeful. The reunion of the two former North Siders became the winning combination as the Orioles signed Adam.
"When I went to Nashville by myself, I knew I had to do it and that my mission was to tell teams I was mentally and physically ready," says Greenberg, who also met up with Baltimore skipper Buck Showalter and former Orioles' outfielder Brady Anderson in Nashville. "Alex's passion about my situation was absolutely amazing and we talked to some teams. I also did an appearance on the MLB Network show 'Hot Stove' before introducing myself to Buck and Brady. Alex and Brady started talking and now they have signed me."
On playing within the Orioles' team: "It is so exciting to be with their organization. They are a competitive team looking to fill specific holes at certain times and that is my style. I don't mind having to bunt or pinch hit for a run, which is something that separates a team from winning and losing. I will certainly be ready if given the opportunity. To be a part of the Orioles would be remarkable."
While at Guilford, Greenberg was a four-time All-State and All-Area player while also being a three-time All-SCC athlete. In the short time since his minor league deal with the 2012 American League Wild Card winner, Adam has experienced the added boost of a more-than-generous outpouring of support.
"I am so blessed to have positive reactions and a continuing show of support," says Adam, who had not been with an MLB organization since 2008 before inking his name in the deal. "I am also excited for them in that they see what is truly possible in life through my story. I just keep spreading that attitude and they are genuinely happy and excited for me."
As he approaches another baseball season and a potential call-up with the O's, Adam admits that he will change nothing in his approach to the game. He will treat every day, every drill, like it's the last day of the season. While Adam has no exact timetable of where he wants to be at any juncture of the campaign, the one constant will be his heart and determination.
"I am not going to do anything different and just have the attitude and mentality to compete every day," says Adam, who runs his own nutritional supplement company, LuRong Living. "I am going to shag fly balls and take batting practice like it's Game 7 of the World Series. I am going to play with heart, intensity, and try to separate myself from the rest. The guys I haven't played with so far know that I'm not doing this for publicity. If I didn't expect to be in the big leagues, then I wouldn't be doing this."