But after a nationwide push, the 31-year-old Guilford native is getting one more chance. It will be with the Miami Marlins, the team he was batting against when he was hit. The team was then the Florida Marlins.
Greenberg, who now lives in Branford, Ct., spoke exclusively with the Today Show on Thursday and has been offered a one-day contract to play for the Marlins on Tuesday, Oct. 2 against the New York Mets.
Before the one-day contract was revealed, Matt Lauer asked Greenberg if he would be concerned about being hit by another 90-mile per hour ball should be get an at-bat.
"No, I mean, after it happened the first time, I had to put it out of my mind. This is a once-in-lifetime, obviously, situation and I got back in the box 21 days later and said, 'You know what, it's never going to happen again," Greenberg said.
David Samson, president of the Miami Marlins, delivered the news to Greenberg.
He not only saw the story, but also knew it, since his team was there on that July day and delivered the fateful pitch, so he went to the owner of the Miami Marlins and said Greenberg deserves one more at bat.
"So, Adam, are you ready? Are you ready to have one at bat?" Samson said.
"From the bottom of my heart, I'll be ready for it," Greenberg said.
"You don't have to do this, the Marlins organization, baseball in general, does not owe me anything, so, like I said, from the bottom of my heart, I'll be ready for it. That I can assure you," Greenberg added.
If you’re not familiar with Greenberg’s story, here it is:
His baseball dream came true in 2005 when the Chicago Cubs brought him up from the minor leagues.
In one moment, his dream turned into a nightmare as the first pitch, a ball moving 92 mile per hour, struck him in the head.
"It caught right up under my helmet, right behind behind my ear," he said. "My helmet flew off and I felt my head explode. My eyes rolled in back of my head. It was the first time in my life that I did not have any control of my eyes.
"It was the single-most happiest, greatest moment of my life, masked with the absolute worst thing at the exact same moment."
Through the treatment, Greenberg suffered from vertigo and vision issues, he said in interviews. His equilibrium was off.
Then came Matt Liston, a documentary film maker and self-described baseball fanatic, who started “One at Bat.”
The national push for Greenberg to get his first official major league at bat started growing.
“We want to get Adam Greenberg his first "official" Major League at bat. Of the 17,500 players who have played in the major leagues, no player has ever had his MLB career end on the first pitch—except Adam Greenberg. Due to Major League rules, when Adam was hit, his at bat was recorded as a plate appearance, not an official at bat. We would like to see Adam make it back to the big leagues for the official at bat he earned,” the website said.
Liston asked people to sign the online petition and spread the word through Twitter and Facebook. As of Thursday morning, more than 22,000 people had signed the online petition.
After months of growing and gaining media attention, One at Bat is a success.
But, as Lauer told Greenberg, this is not a fairy tale.
In the movies, Greenberg would hit a homerun, Lauer said on Thursday morning.
"It might not have a great ending. Are you worried about that?" Lauer asked.
"No, I mean this has already been a happy ending right now, the support that's going on, obviously with the campaign, and Matt, he lit a new fire in me that's just showing the support, the human spirit, it's just unbelievable, so it's already a success."