Adam Greenberg faces pitcher who struck him

Sun, May 1

More than 2,100 days after Florida Marlins pitcher Valerio de los Santos put Adam Greenberg in the history books by ending his major-league career with a single pitch, the former Cubs prospect finally hit back.

With a single.

"Since I never got a hit in the major leagues, that would have to be the greatest single of my career," Greenberg said.

Greenberg, now a member of the independent Atlantic League's Bridgeport Bluefish, stepped in to face de los Santos, now a Long Island Duck, in the eighth inning of a tie game during Friday night's opener.

And much like their fateful meeting on July 9, 2005 in Miami, this one began with a fastball inside.

"He threw me a hard cutter that started right in at me and fell over the plate," Greenberg said. "At that point, it was like he's good, I'm good so let's play."

But unlike that first time, this at-bat lasted more than one pitch.

Greenberg was able to see two more offerings from de los Santos before lining a 1-2 pitch into the outfield for a single.

"It's a big boost. I've worked real hard to get to this point," Greenberg said.

The two hadn't shared a baseball field since Greenberg's Major League debut, when de los Santos came in high and tight with a 92-mph fastball that hit Greenberg in the head.

Just like that, Greenberg's Major League career was done. He remains one of two players -- Philadelphia's Fred Van Dusen is the other -- to face only one pitch in the big leagues without ever taking the field.

"It was an accident. There was no intent," he said. "The fact that it affected his career just as much as it did mine, there's no way I could have any hard feelings or grudges."

So was there any trepidation about stepping into the box against de los Santos?

"There was no time for that," Greenberg said. "After he threw the first pitch, that really locked me in and I knew at that point he was good as well."