Adam Greenberg will get one more at-bat, becoming a once — and once again — Jewish Major Leaguer!
The Miami Marlins (coincidentally, owned by MOT Jeffrey Loria) have signed the former JMLer — who's previous big league career consisted of being hit in the head by the first pitch he saw — to a one game contract.
Greenberg will play for the Marlins tonight, in their second-to-last game, against the New York Mets, on Tuesday, October 2.
The move is, clearly, a publicity stunt by the Marlins, a team that has had a disastrous season, and is generating as many cries about the "integrity of the game" as it is cheers for Greenberg.
ESPN originally reported that Marlin's manager Ozzie Guillen would start Greenberg in the outfield and have him lead-off the bottom of the first inning against Met's 20-game winner and knuckle ball phenom R.A. Dickey, after which Guillen would remove Greenberg from the game.
Guillen, perhaps feeling the pressures of critics, now says he doesn't have a specific plan in mind for Greenberg's at bat.
"I'm going to manage my team to win the game. I'll figure out how to play him. … We shouldn't have any problems. …I think if the kid gets a hit in the first at-bat, he might get another one."
True to his nature, Greenberg is taking the publicity in stride. He's being a mensch about the Marlin's contract, donating his one day's pay (about $2,600) to the Marlin's charitable foundation. The Marlins, in turn, are donating the to the Sports Legacy Institute, a group that studies traumatic brain injuries in athletes, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Greenberg, who was a last minute addition to the Team Israel roster — replacing the injured Gabe Kapler — was extended the Marlin's contract offer just hours after Team Israel lost to Spain in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers finals.
Days later, he was sharing the news of his second chance on The Today Show. If you haven't had the chance to see it, I've included the video below. I defy you not to get goose bumps!
Jewish baseball collectors have access to a number of Greenberg cards and collectibles, despite — and possibly because of — the extreme brevity of his major league career.
Greenberg also has cards in the 2008 and 2010 Jewish Major Leaguers sets, and is likely to have more JML baseball cards available in the near future, as a result of his play for Team Israel and the signing by the Marlins.
As previously reported by JewishSportsCollectibles.com, Martin Abramowitz, publisher of the Jewish Major Leaguer card series, said in early August post on Team Israel's Facebook page that he plans to include an Israel WBC card in a planned 2015 JML edition. I hope there will also be a card featuring Greenberg in his Marlin's gear.
All of Greenberg's cards are readily available on eBay, the Becket Marketplace and Amazon.com. They generally sell for between $3-5 for singles, with some minor league team issues and the Chrome, Refractor and autographed Bowman cards costing between $5-10.
The publicity surrounding Greenberg's appearance means more of his cards are for sale, but it is also driving up prices on all of his memorabilia. During the WBC, Greenberg's cards were selling at about 50% of their prices today. I expect the prices will drop to more reasonable levels when the hype surrounding Adam's appearance tonight cools.
Beyond his baseball cards, there is not much Greenberg memorabilia listed on eBay, as of this posting.
Other items include several autographed baseballs and photos, and a cracked Greenberg model bat, listed as game-used (as always, buyers beware!). There is also a generic University of North Carolina replica jersey (Greenberg played college ball for the Tar Heels).
I suspect more collectibles will become available on eBay following Adam's appearance tonight. These include game tickets, programs, score cards, photos, etc.
Certainly other Greenberg memorabilia exists, although I could find little.
There are no photos of Greenberg in the MLB Photo Store, as of this posting.
Again, I presume the Marlins and Major League Baseball will embrace the PR buzz associated with Adam's return to the Bigs, and that numerous photos will become available.
The New York Times ran a beautiful image on Greenberg recently, but it is not for sale through the Times' online store. Here, again, I expect additional images to follow with the flood of coverage that Adam's story is generating.
These include Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own Words, Jews and Baseball: Volume 2, The Post-Greenberg Years, 1949-2008, and The Baseball Talmud: The Definitive Position-by-Position Ranking of Baseball's Chosen Players, all of which are available on Amazon.
Greenberg is a generous in-person signer and welcomes interactions with his Jewish fan base, as detailed in Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own Words. It has been my experience that Adam is also a willing respondent to through-the-mail requests for his autographs. I'm proud to have several of Greenberg's autographed cards in my Jewish baseball collection.
What Adam Greenberg memorabilia have I overlooked? Do you have any Greenberg collectibles in your Jewish baseball collection? What's your favorite piece? Are you attending tonight's game?
Share your thoughts and photos with JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers by commenting below.