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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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One is a Rational Number

I’ve always been fascinated by one-and-done Mets. Like Joe Hietpas and his one ninth-inning appearance behind the plate on the last day of the 2004 season. Like Mike Hessman and his one Mets home run across two months of 2010 despite his being billed in advance as the minor league home run king of minor league home run kings. Like Ray Searage and his 1-0, 1-for-1 Mets career pitching and hitting mark from 1981. Like Brett Hinchliffe’s emergency start in 2001 that resulted in an SOS calling of a cab to get him off the roster before he could cause any more of an emergency (2 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 8 ER). Like — until further notice — the way Garrett Olson came up on August 8, made one appearance, left it with an ERA of 108.00 and was sent down probably not to be invited back.

Matt McDonald, Mets fan, FAFIF reader and talented producer of sports documentaries (including one of my ESPN 30 For 30 favorites, Small Potatoes, about the rise and fall of the USFL) alerts us to an intriguing baseball cause centered on a similar one. He’s working with One At Bat to, as the name would imply, get somebody one at-bat in the major leagues. The would-be batter in question is Adam Greenberg, a vaguely familiar name when Matt brought it up to us. By watching the promotional video Matt’s company, Triple Threat TV, put together, I was reminded of exactly who Adam is.

He’s the guy who came up with the Cubs in 2005, made his debut by stepping in the batter’s box against the Marlins’s Valerio De Los Santos and getting plunked on the very first pitch he saw. Or didn’t see. Adam Greenberg suffered a concussion and was removed from the game, never to make it back.

It’s not like Adam hasn’t tried to get back, and that’s the cause here. Seven years later, Greenberg is still working, still trying to get an official AB in MLB. He doesn’t have that. All he has is the one PA and one HBP, and he didn’t even get to stand on first. He was pinch-run for by Carlos Zambrano and his career was over.

One At Bat asks that it not be so, that Adam gets one more chance before this season is over. Ideally, it would be with the Cubs. They play the Astros late in the campaign in a game that most would describe as meaningless. It would be fantastic if the Cubs could inject a little meaning into it by adding Adam to their roster and sending him up one more time. If he walks and still lacks an official AB, that’s his problem. But he’d get a chance, which is all anybody is asking on his behalf.

Watch the brief film Matt sent over and, if so moved, sign the One At Bat petition. Do it for someone whose second chance would really be a first chance. Or do it because Mike Glavine nepotismed his way into seven big league at-bats with the 2003 Mets and this is a lot less creepy than that.

3 comments to One is a Rational Number

  • Dave

    You had me at “Mike G!@v!ne nepotismed…”

  • Will in Central NJ

    While following my favorite independent league team (Newark Bears) on the road in Bridgeport, CT, in September 2009, I had a chance to meet Adam Greenberg at the Bluefish’ pregame autograph session/charity fundraiser. Both Adam and members of his family (present for the charity event) were extremely friendly and engaging to one and all fans who went up to them. If the One-at-Bat campaign succeeds, it couldn’t happen to a seemingly nicer guy.

    (Cubs front office take note: who knows, by making the Greenberg AB happen in a Cub uniform, such an act of generosity could help to vanquish that billy goat curse….)

  • […] his filmmaker advocates’) “position wanted” campaign by saying, in essence, what the hell, it’s a great story, you’ve got a good cause, go put on a uniform, we’ll pinch-hit you in a game that doesn’t […]