Nightly News   |  September 27, 2012

Former major leaguer gets a second chance

After being hit on the back of a head by a pitch, Adam Greenberg – the baseball player at the center of the "One at Bat" campaign – will be playing with the Miami Marlins. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>>> and finally, how far would you go to help a total stranger get a second chance? tonight, nbc's carrie sanders with the story of a baseball player whose major league dreams were cut short in an instant. and man who was determined to get him one more at bat.

>> reporter: adam greenberg was a major leaguer. his professional career with the chicago cubs in 2005 started and ended his first time at-bat.

>> oh, my goodness, let's hope he is okay.

>> it was the single most happiest, greatest moment in my life, match weekend the absolute worst thing at the exact same moment.

>> reporter: a severe head injury left adam unable to keep his balance or follow the ball. enter this baseball fanatic, who remembered that 92 miles an hour fastball, and a statistic held by no other major leaguer.

>> out of the many who played major league baseball he is the only one to have his career end on the first pitch. and that is just not right.

>> reporter: it all reminded matt of "field of dreams" and moonlight gram, who regretted playing only one game.

>> i never got to bat in the major leagues , i would have liked that chance, just once.

>> reporter: it took matt a while, but he over came the hand-eye coordination. today he is hitting like he once did. but time is no friend when it comes to professional sports .

>> scouts wouldn't look at you when you're 31, will they?

>> they look at you in a different light.

>> reporter: so together, fan and player created an on-line campaign to get adam another chance. who saw that? the very team that had thrown the ball that had injured him. this morning on "today" the miami marlins offered a second chance.

>> well, adam we would like to sign you to a one-day contract. and if you come to miami we'll put you in uniform and you will be a member of our team sinai mean, i can't express how great that feels to me, baseball in general, from the bottom of my heart, i'll be ready for that. i can tell you that.

>> reporter: adam says even if he gets to the plate now and strikes out, it has all been worth it.

>> i am going to give it a great at bat, i know that for sure. if it is one pitch or ten, this is all worth it.

>> reporter: carrie sanders, nbc news, miami.