Independent League Feed

Adam Greenberg: One More At-Bat

Adam Greenberg
Adam Greenberg.
Photo courtesy of PalmBeachPost.com.
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!

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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.

Adam Greenberg UD
Adam Greenberg 2002 Upper Deck Future Gems. Photo courtesy of
Joshua Platt.
Greenberg is featured on nearly three dozen different baseball cards, including minor and major league issues, according to Beckett.com. These include a 2002 Upper Deck Prospect Premiere issue, and 2004 Topps Total and Bowman rookie cards, including Chrome, Refractor and autographed iterations from Bowman.
 
Adam Greenberg Daytona Cubs
Adam Greenberg Daytona Cubs card. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Greenberg's minor league issues include 2003 and 2004 Daytona Beach Cubs, 2005 and 2006 West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx cards.

Adam played several seasons for the independent league Bridgeport Bluefish. I could find no independent league baseball cards while searching eBay for Bridgeport Bluefish team cards. The team's online store does not offer cards for sale. My calls to the team to inquire about Greenberg's cards have not been returned. Does anyone know if Adam is featured on any Blueffish pasteboard?

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.

Adam Greenberg JML Card
Adam Greenberg JML card. Photo courtesy of Joshua Platt.
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.

Greenberg NYT Photo
Adam Greenberg during Spring Training 2005. Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images, courtesy of NYTimes.com.

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.

One At Bat Adam Greenberg Poster
One At Bat poster.
Photo courtesy of OneAtBat.com.
Greenberg's feel good comeback was made possible, in part, by an online petition from sports documentary film maker Matt Liston, who spearheaded The "One At Bat" campaign, as described in the Today Show story.

Collectors can download and print a One At Bat poster from the campaign's web site. The poster, while visually arresting, does not feature Greenberg's likeness. It would, in my opinion, make an intriguing addition to any Greenberg collection, regardless.

Anyone interested can also follow Adam's story in video clips posted to Liston's YouTube channel. Does saving online video clips count as "collecting"? If so, start your hard drives!

Greenberg's saga is recounted in several Jewish baseball books, for collectors who prefer to keep their memorabilia on the book shelf.

These include Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own WordsJews 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.

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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.


Adam Greenberg Added to Team Israel Roster

Greenberg HBPFormer Jewish Major Leaguer Adam Greenberg has been added to the Team Israel roster for the qualifying rounds of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, according to a posting on Team Israel's Facebook page. Greenberg takes the roster spot of former JMLer Gabe Kapler, who sustained an injury.

Greenberg's story is widely known, but worth repeating.

A Cubs prospect, Greenberg was called up to the Major Leagues in July 7, 2005. Two days later, he was sent into a game against the Marlins to pinch hit.

As described by the New York Times, Greenberg was hit in the head by a 92-mile-per-hour fastball on the first pitch he saw.

"I didn't have a chance to swing," Greenberg recounted in Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own Words: Oral Histories of 23 Players (which devotes an entire chapter to his story). "I didn't have a chance to swing, and it cracked me. ... I was conscious the whole time. I couldn't control my eyes. They rolled into the back of my head, but I was aware of everything that was going on, basically just trying to tell myself to stay alive and stay with it ... ."

The affects of the concussion Greenberg suffered from the beaning lasted for months, and he never made it back to the Big Leagues.

Greenberg has tried, unsuccessfully, to earn his way back to the majors. He played in the affiliated minor leagues and for the independent league Bridgeport Blue Fish for several years, retiring in 2011.

Sports documentary film maker Matt Liston recently spearheaded an online petition to try to get the Cubs to give Greenberg one more at bat. The "One At Bat" campaign, while dramatic and inspiring, unfortunately proved unsuccessful, with the Cubs denying the petition. The "One At Bat" video is available below. The piece is compelling, but watching Greenberg get beaned is unsettling, to say the least.

Playing for Team Israel could be Greenberg's last opportunity to showcase himself before major league scouts. Here's hoping Adam's time on the international stage earns him another shot at "The Show." And, let's offer a hearty yasher koach to Team Israel manager Brad Ausmus for the noble gesture. Here's also hoping that Kapler makes a full, and speedy, recovery from his injury.

***

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.

Adam Greenberg UD
Adam Greenberg 2002 Upper Deck Future Gems. Photo courtesy of
Joshua Platt.

Greenberg is featured on nearly three dozen different baseball cards, including minor and major league issues, according to Beckett.com. These include a 2002 Upper Deck Prospect Premiere issue, and 2004 Topps Total and Bowman rookie cards, including Chrome, Refractor and autographed iterations from Bowman.

He also has cards in the 2008 and 2010 Jewish Major Leaguers card sets.

All of Greenberg's cards are readily available on eBay, the Becket Marketplace and Amazon.com. They generally sell for between $1-5 for singles, with some minor league team sets and the Chrome, Refractor and autographed Bowman cards costing a bit more. 

I could find no independent league baseball cards while searching eBay for Bridgeport Bluefish team cards. The team's online store does not offer cards for sale.

Adam Greenberg JML Card
Adam Greenberg Jewish Major Leaguers card. Photo courtesy of
Joshua Platt.

Greenberg is likely to have another baseball card available in the near future, as a result of his play for Team Israel.

As reported in this earlier JewishSportsCollectibles.com post about Team Israel memorabilia, 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 2015 release of JML cards.

Photographer Bob Ruxin recently verified that he will be at the WBC tourney taking pictures for JML in another posting on Team Israel's Facebook wall.

I hope Greenberg is, indeed, included in the planned set, either individually or as part of a team card.

Beyond his baseball cards, there is not much Greenberg memorabilia listed on eBay, as of this posting.

Other items include an autographed baseball (as always, buyers beware!) and a generic University of North Carolina replica jersey (Greenberg played college ball for the Tar Heels).

Certainly other Greenberg memorabilia exists, although I could find little.

Greenberg NYT Photo
Adam Greenberg during Spring Training 2005. Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images, courtesy of NYTimes.com.

There are no photos of Greenberg in the MLB Photo Store. The New York Times ran a beautiful image on Greenberg recently, but it is not for sale through the Times' online store.


One At Bat Adam Greenberg Poster
One At Bat poster. Photo courtesy of OneAtBat.com.
Collectors can download and print a One At Bat poster from the campaign's web site. The poster, while visually arresting, does not, however, feature Greenberg's likeness. It would, in my opinion, make an intriguing addition to any Greenberg collection, regardless.

For collectors who prefer to keep their memorabilia on the book shelf, Greenberg's saga is recounted in several Jewish baseball books.

These include Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own WordsJews 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 Greenbergs 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?

Share your thoughts with JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers by commenting below.


More Jews on Ice

After posting a review of Jewish hockey players' collectibles on JewishSportsCollectibles.com, I re-read the March/April issue of Jewish Sports Review.

Carter Camper Headshot
Seems I missed a note in the "Sports Shorts" section about Jewish hockey player Carter Camper.

Carter CamperCamper is an undrafted free agent playing in the Boston Bruins' system. On February 20th, Camper was called up to the NHL. He played in 3 games for the Bruins and scored his first goal before being sent back down to Providence Bruins in the AHL (hockey's minor leagues). Proof that ice melts quickly!

According to Beckett.com, Camper has several cards available to collectors, including a 2007-2007 issue from the Lincoln Stars team issue (#24) and traded version of the same card (#T18). A signed version of the card (Upper Deck Signature Series #6) is also available.

Unfortunately, no sellers in the Beckett Marketplace appear to be selling Camper's cardboard. Ditto for eBay.

I'm not much of a hockey fan, am I'm certainly not an expert on hockey collectibles. Do any JICE collectors know if Camper has other cards available, perhaps minor league team issues?

Certainly there are photos programs, yearbooks and game tickets associated with Camper's college (Miami, OH) and minor league hockey career.

Anyone know if any of Camper's signed pucks, game-worn uniforms or equipment have made their way into collections?

Let JSC.com readers know by commenting below. 

Photos  courtesy of NHL.com/Boston Bruins.


Jewish World Series MVP Profile: Steve Yeager

During the World Series, JewishSportsCollectibles.com has provided overviews of the cards and memorabilia for Jewish World Series MVP winners Larry Sherry (1959), Sandy Koufax (1963 and 1965).

Steve Yeager 2004 UD Legends AutographIn this posting, the final in the series, we look at the collectibles of Steve Yeager -- who converted to Judaism following his playing career -- who shared the 1981 World Series MVP hardware withDodgers teammates Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero.

The former backstop has nearly 150 different cards available, according to Beckett.com checklist and TradingCardDatabase.com.

These include dozens of different Topps, O-Pee-Chee, Donruss and Fleer cards from 1973 through 1987, and more than a dozen oddball and regional issues, including several Dodgers team cards, package insert cards from Burger Chef, Hostess, Mother's and Nestle, and a Hero Deck playing card.

Steve Yeager 1984 DonrussYeager also is the subject of numerous Topps and Upper Deck modern tribute and archival issues from 2000 to present, including several memorabilia and autograph cards (like the 2004 Upper Deck Legends autograph card pictured above right).

As a minor league and independent league coach and skipper, Yeager is also featured on cards for the San Bernadino Stampede, Long Beach Breakers, Jacksonville Suns, Las Vegas 51s, Inland Empire 66ers, and Long Beach Armada.

Yeager, of course, also has a card in the Jewish Major Leaguers series (JML 2003, #106).

With the exception of a small handful of the vintage regional and oddball cards and the modern autograph and memorabilia cards, most of Yeager's cards are considered common. Printed during the glut of over-printed, poorly-designed issues in the 1980s, they sell for $1 or less in ungraded conditions on eBay and the Beckett.com Marketplace.

The vintage regional and modern memorabilia cards will set collectors back $20-$30, or more, on eBay and Beckett, depending on condition and variation.

Steve Yeager Signed BaseballA bevy of Yeager photos -- including autographed publicity stills and vintage newspaper pictures -- signed bats, baseballs, helmets and bases, and programs, scorecards, yearbooks and ticket stubs can be found on Amazon.com and eBay

Prices vary widely by seller, season and piece. Expect to pay approximately $75-$100 for Yeager autographed memorabilia, $200-$300 for tri-MVP signed items, and more for team signed collectibles. As always, buyer beware.

Yeager MaskAs to equipment, a catchers' mask would make an especially interesting addition to one's Yeager collection. In 1976, after being impaled in the neck by shards from a shattered bat, Yeager and the Dodgers team trained invented and patented a throat protector for his catcher's mask. The gear is now standard equipment for most backstops. Do any JSC.com readers have a signed catchers mask, with Yeager throat protector, or a chest protector or shin guards in their collection?

Steve Yeager Major LeagueFor collectors with more esoteric interests, the former catcher's collectibles extend well beyond the ball field.

In 1989, Yeager made his movie debut in Major League, with a bit part as Duke Temple. Yeager also appeared in the film's two sequels, and on several television programs in the '70s and '80s.

Memorabilia from the original Major League includes movie posters and lobby cards, Major League etc. There are also promotional baseball cards -- including one for Yeager as Temple -- put out by the studio and by art card creators. Does anyone have these oddball issues in their collection? More importantly, does anyone else appreciate the irony of his character's name, considering Yeager's conversion?

Movies aren't the only place Yeager shows his face and other (ahem!) assets. He also graces the pages in several editions of Playgirl, the infamous magazine that provides "entertainment for women."

Steve Yeager Playgirl CoverApparently the convert catcher had major '80s sex appear (must be the hair!), because he's the "celebrity nude" in the October 1982 edition and has images in the January 1983 issue, with fellow major leaguer Bucky Dent and two other players in the September 1983 issue, and again in the January 1984 edition.

Back issues of Playgirl featuring Steve Yeager's tush can be found on Amazon.com and eBay for $10-20, in case you were wondering. For reasons unknown to me, one Amazon seller lists the Yeager magazines for more than $300. Really.

Do you have this most intimate of Yeager items (if you must, click here to see Yeager in all his glory!) in your collection? Would you ever want it (not that there's anything wrong with that!)? If you did, would you want to have Yeager sign the centerfold?

If you asnwered yes to the last question, you'd have plenty of opportunity. Yeager is a regular on the autograph circuit, according to SigningsHotline.com. His most recent appearance was in September at Dodger Stadium.

Have you had the chance to meet the World Series MVP? What's your favorite Yeager memorabilia? Leave a comment below and let JSC.com readers know.


Aaron Pribble Collectibles

Related Postings

Aaron Pribble University of Hawaii Baseball Card Collectors who have Aaron Pribble's Pitching In The Promised Land in their Jewish baseball library may be interested in having the pitcher-turned-author's baseball cards, too.

Before his stint in the IBL, Pribble pitched for the University of Hawaii.

The school's 1999 card set includes Pribble pasteboard. The Hawaii card is hard to come by. Searches on Beckett and eBay yielded nothing.

IBL cards Pribble Pribble is also featured on card #13 in the limited edition, 2007 Jewish Major Leaguer's Israel Baseball League set.The IBL set is long sold out. Patient collectors might be able to find it on eBay, however.

In May 2011, Pribble made a promotional appearance at Book Passage in Corte Madera, California. Collectors can purchase a DVD of Pribble's presentation – the video originally aired on C-SPAN's Book TV  – from BookTV.com.

Check out this JewishSportsCollectibles.com posting for an overview of other IBL memorabilia you might add to your collection.