Adam Greenberg to get 1-day chance with Marlins

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He and Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano once were teammates with the Double-A Jacksonville Suns, playing together there in 2006.

“Woke up (this) morning to find out Adam Greenberg and I will be teammates again this year! Dude can play,” Ruggiano wrote on Twitter early Thursday. “Looking forward to Oct. 2.”

It is ironic how the Marlins have been involved in just about every aspect of Greenberg’s story.

His lone plate appearance for the Cubs came in Miami. When he played earlier this month for Israel’s entry in the qualifying round for the World Baseball Classic, he played and trained at the Marlins’ training complex in Jupiter, Fla. And now his comeback game will be in Miami, albeit a different park than where he faced that fateful pitch seven years ago.

“Going back to the scene of the crime but a different location, I kind of look at it as a new stadium, new start,” said Greenberg, who drew a walk in his lone plate appearance for Israel in the WBC qualifying games. “For me, it’s just down the street, but it’s a new opportunity. It’s really cool and special to have the Marlins, of course, recognize all of this. And to have it come full circle with them, it’s just so gratifying, rewarding and special.”

Greenberg faced De Los Santos again in 2011, hitting a single off him as a member of the Bridgeport Bluefish in the independent Atlantic League.

The Marlins say Greenberg will donate his one-day salary — a pro-rated share of the minimum contract, about $3,000 — to the team’s foundation, which will in turn donate to the Sports Legacy Institute, a group that furthers the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and others.

Greenberg said he’s hopeful of getting a chance to play for some club in spring training next year. He also insisted that this is not a stunt, and that since his first trip to the majors in 2005 was earned he hopes people doesn’t look at what’s happening next week as an undeserved gift.

“I’m no different or more special than anyone else,” Greenberg said. “It just so happened that my story was the Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN and it was the first pitch I ever saw and I got hit in the back of the head. Tragedy for me, but it’s part of the game.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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