Wednesday Oct. 20, 2010
Posted: 7:40 p.m.
Arizona Fall LeaguePeoria Saguaros White Sox
Johnnie Lowes AFL experience took another ugly turn Wednesday afternoon as Peoria dropped a 9-2 decision to visiting Surprise. Lowe made his second start of the season and for the second time, he was hit hard.
The right-hander, who was 6-5 with a 3.96 ERA this season at Double-A Birmingham, allowed seven runs on seven hits in three innings. Two of those hits were home runs as his ERA climbed to 12 in six AFL innings. Hes allowed three homers in six innings after surrendering five in 120 13 innings with the Barons.
Charlie Leesman, who spent time with Class-A Winston-Salem and Birmingham during the season, also pitched and tossed a scoreless inning.
Eduardo Escobar continued his tear, going 2-for-5, to extend his hitting streak to three games. Hes hitting .360 through seven games. Jared Mitchell went hitless in four at-bats while Jason Bour was 0-for-1.
Suffice to say Kris Bryant is budding with anticipation for becoming a father.
Bryant and his wife, Jessica, are expecting their first child — a baby boy due in April. During Friday night’s Cubs-Padres broadcast, the third baseman shared his excitement for fatherhood with reporter Taylor McGregor
“I think this is really what I’ve been put on this Earth to do, is be a dad,” Bryant said, laughing. “Obviously I play baseball pretty good, but I’m just so excited [for] this new journey with my wife and my family. Honestly, I think this is going to be one of the best years of my life.”
“I was put on this earth to be a Dad, and obviously, I play baseball pretty good too.” -KB
Bryant’s son is due shortly after Opening Day, but the Cubs will play two spring training games in Las Vegas — Bryant’s hometown — on March 7-8. He told McGregor one of Jessica’s last doctor’s appointments is around the same time, so Bryant will get one last visit in before Baby Bryant is born.
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Adam Greenberg’s baseball career was cut short by a scary head injury 15 years ago. But with the help of Dusty Baker, he found the motivation to transition to his post-baseball life.
Greenberg made his MLB debut with the Cubs on July 9, 2005, and Baker called upon the then 24-year-old to pinch-hit in the ninth inning against the Marlins. On the first pitch Greenberg saw in the big leagues, Marlins reliever Valerio De Los Santos hit him in the back of the head with a 92-mph fastball.
Greenberg was concussed from the incident, suffered from vertigo and vision problems, and battled depression. The Cubs released him in 2006 and he caught on with the Royals and later the Dodgers in 2007 — which is when Baker reappears in the story. From MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart:
A couple of years following the incident, in 2007, Baker got a letter from a fan requesting a baseball card be signed. In the letter, the person told Baker that Greenberg had been released by the Royals and his baseball career was in jeopardy. Baker tracked down Greenberg and left him the voice mail that served as his motivation for a post-baseball life.
“It was so genuine and from the heart,” Greenberg said. “It put me in tears the first time, but it was the motivation and inspiration I needed to get up and keep going. And since then, he’s been somebody that’s been near and dear to me."
It's unfortunate Greenberg couldn’t experience a long big-league career, but Baker inspired him and helped him move forward post-baseball. According to McTaggart, Greenberg started a nutrition company and sold it 10 years later. He also ran for state senate in Connecticut in 2019 and is currently a baseball analyst for the ACC Network.
Greenberg’s career effectively ended moments after it began, but 2005 wasn’t the last time he stepped in a big-league batters’ box. In 2012, fans started an online petition to get him one last at-bat — and his career came full circle. The Marlins signed him to a one-day contract on Oct. 2, 2012, and he pinch-hit that same day against the Mets.
Greenberg struck out on three pitches, but Baker’s voicemail left a mark on his life. Seeing him enjoy success outside of baseball is as heartwarming as it gets.