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Chicago Cubs call up Greenberg

GUILFORD, Conn., July 13 (JTA) — A couple of days before the Major League Baseball All-Star break, baseball player Adam Greenberg received the news he had been waiting for his entire life. On July 7, Greenberg was called up to play for the Chicago Cubs. “It’s unbelievable. It was a dream come true,” the 24-year-old outfielder told the Connecticut Jewish Ledger on Monday from his home in Guilford, Conn. “It’s a culmination of everything you’ve worked for your whole life.” That evening, Greenberg and his teammate, fellow outfielder Matt Murton, were told that they were being left behind by their team, the Chicago Cubs’ Double-A affiliate West Tenn Diamond Jaxx in Tennessee as their team traveled to Carolina. They were also told to keep their phones on because they would be receiving news as to where they were headed next. Meanwhile, back in Connecticut, his parents were also playing the waiting game. “You have all the time in the world to speculate so you play a game of what if, what if, and what if,” Wendy Greenberg said. “He was prepared for anything. He kept his focus and our focus on good news.” After watching the Cubs game on TV, Greenberg and Murton received a call from their manager, Bobby Dickerson, who told them over speaker phone that they weren’t going to Carolina or to the Cubs’ Triple-A team in Iowa. “Pack your bags,” Greenberg recalled Dickerson saying. “You’re going to Florida to meet the big league team.” Greenberg called his parents, and they immediately made flight arrangements from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Florida on Friday to watch their son make his Major League debut. Although his older sister Keri couldn’t make it on such short notice, Greenberg’s younger brothers Max and Sam and younger sister Loren joined his parents on the flight. Greenberg met up with his family at the airport in Florida. Greenberg, a graduate of Guilford High School and the University of North Carolina, did have experience playing with the Chicago Cubs during spring training earlier this year. “When I got there, it was almost like an extension of spring training with a few months in between,” he said. Greenberg’s major league debut at-bat on Saturday made headlines when the first big league pitch he saw struck him in the back of the head during a game between the Cubs and the Florida Marlins in Miami. It was the ninth inning, and Greenberg was told to get loose because he would be pinch hitting for the pitcher. During the at-bat, Florida’s pitcher Valerio De Los Santos unintentionally hit him with a fastball. “I went down fast. I was really scared. It was the first time I was ever scared on the baseball field,” said Greenberg. He was helped off the field by the team trainer, and led to the training room, where doctors from both the Cubs and Marlins checked him out. Meanwhile, his parents were watching from their seats in Dolphins Stadium. “He has an incredibly high tolerance for pain, and he’ll just rub anything off. When he got hit in the head, it was gut wrenching,” said Wendy Greenberg, who had promised her children that she would never run out on the field. “I waited patiently until they contacted me and told me he was OK,” adding that the staff were extremely understanding. Wendy Greenberg, who is also a nurse, stayed with her son that night, waking him up every couple of hours to check on him. The next morning, he was taken to the hospital for a CAT scan. He had suffered a mild concussion. “I never did lose consciousness. I have signs of a concussion,” Greenberg said. “Bottom line is it’s a nasty blow to the head, and I have some headaches.” Greenberg said, “I’m just kind of going slow with everything and resting up as much as I can.” The season resumes on Thursday, when the Chicago Cubs play the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field in Chicago. His family — parents Wendy and Mark, siblings Keri and her husband Mike Ball, Max, Loren and Sam, as well as his 80-year-old maternal grandfather — will also be in the Windy City to watch him play.

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