Cubs

Powerful run game paces Mount Carmel

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Powerful run game paces Mount Carmel

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011
Posted: 11:56 p.m.

By Steve Millar
YourSeason.com

Brandon Greer and Mount Carmels well-oiled rushing machine was in fine form Friday night. And whenever Brother Rice got momentum, the Caravan was quick to respond with a big play.Greer ran for 239 yards and three long touchdowns on 14 carries and No. 3 Mount Carmel was unhurt by a sloppy, wild fourth quarter in a 35-24 win over the No. 23 Crusaders in a Catholic League Blue game at Gately Stadium.Ive got give credit to my O-line, Greer said. They open it up and once I hit the secondary, I try to put the ball in the end zone. Im just trying to do my part.After Greers 51-yard touchdown run helped send Mount Carmel (5-0, 1-0) into the fourth quarter with a 35-16 lead, Brother Rice (3-2, 0-2) made things interesting late.Rice capped a 22-play, 98-yard, 7:50 drive with a one-yard touchdown pass from Matt Page who replaced injured starter Pat Parrilli late in the first half to James Gannon, Martez Walkers two-point run made it 35-24, and Kevin Salmon recovered an onside kick to give the Crusaders the ball back with 6:40 to go.But Frank Kelly intercepted a Page (7 of 20 passing, 70 yards; eight carries, 55 yards) pass intended for Walker at the Caravan 1-yard line with 4:52 to go.We were in man-to-man coverage, but I saw the wheel play coming and I knew they were going to go to Walker, Kelly said. So I switched off my guy and luckily, I was in the right place at the right time.Rice had one last chance after a wild sequence that saw the Caravan go for and convert a fourth-and-one from its own 10 on a Greer run with 3:25 left but Rice get the ball back when Draco Smith (16 carries, 63 yards) fumbled in the Crusaders end zone. The Crusaders, though, turned the ball over on downs.The Caravan grabbed a 21-3 lead in the second quarter on touchdown runs of 3 and 23 yards by Don Butkus and a 46-yard jaunt to pay dirt from Greer, but Martez Walkers 89-yard kickoff return touchdown gave Rice life.Greer responded with a 25-yard run for a score and Rice turned the ball over inside the Mount Carmel five in the closing minute of the half.Andrew Walker ran 14 times for 88 yards and a touchdown for the Crusaders.

Kris Bryant is ready for fatherhood '[I was] put on this earth to be a dad'

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USA TODAY

Kris Bryant is ready for fatherhood '[I was] put on this earth to be a dad'

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.”

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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How Dusty Baker inspired former Cub Adam Greenberg after scary head injury

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AP

How Dusty Baker inspired former Cub Adam Greenberg after scary head injury

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.