Today: Jun 25, 2024

Catching up with former Owl’s shortstop

Andrew Anastasio – Sports Editor

headshot_2_greenbergOwls former shortstop, Sam Greenberg, was more than just a baseball player; he’s an active member of “Mission Stadiums 4 Multiple Sclerosis,” a soon to be non-profit organization that he created in August of 2012 to spread awareness of the disease, while allowing the participants to travel to different venues within Major League Baseball.

“The organization raises money for Multiple Sclerosis while actually giving people the opportunity to travel to major league baseball stadiums,” Greenberg said. “Once my career is up with baseball, whenever that may be, I actually plan on taking a road trip to all major league stadiums while wearing the color ‘orange’ to raise money for the charity. I got involved in it because I always wanted to travel to all the stadiums while raising money for a charity simultaneously.”

Growing up in his hometown of Guilford, Conn., baseball was a hobby that surrounded Greenberg since he was a small child. In fact, his older brother, Adam Greenberg, who recently played in the Chicago Cubs organization, was granted by the Miami Marlins, one more at bat after his major league career abruptly halted when he took a fastball directly off of his helmet in his rookie debut on July 9, 2005.

“Matt Liston put the ‘One at Bat’ campaign together almost all by himself,” Greenberg said. “Our family wasn’t hands on involved, but once we became aware that something had a chance to happen, I was working out with Adam to try and get him back in baseball condition. I was very excited, not just because he’s my brother, but just for him I was happy and proud. He deserved it more than anybody. It was something fun to look forward too. At the stadium, my whole family was overwhelmed. The whole stadium was on there feet cheering for him, and we all kind of just took in the moment. We really enjoyed the experience together.”

Watching his brother play baseball, is what Greenberg said enticed him to pursue a future in the sport.

“He was always there for me,” Greenberg said. “He was always someone I could look up too. Personally, I loved the game growing up and watching him play made me love it even more. It made me want to succeed just as he did.”

Before coming to the Owls in 2008, Greenberg earned All-Conference four times, and All-State twice in high school. He helped lead the Guilford Indians in 2007 to not only an SCC championship, but a state title as well.

“He was a great teammate,” former teammate Kyle Cummings said. “He had great leadership skills, and always has that fire in the belly to get the team up and going when we were down. He was always ready to go.”

Greenberg said he chose to come to Southern because of what the program had to offer.

“I ended up choosing Southern because I really enjoyed the idea of playing with wooden bats, “ Greenberg said. “I had a great opportunity to come in and try and earn a spot to start right away at shortstop, which is the position I have always loved. I really liked the campus, and the coaches seemed like they wanted me right away.”

Greenberg did in fact earn a starting position immediately. As a freshman, he started 35 games, and batted .285 with 37 hits, and stole 22 bases, which led the team that year.

Despite being plagued by injuries in his sophomore and juniors seasons, Greenberg entered his final season with the Owls in 2011, healthy. He batted .241 with 39 hits, and stole ten bases. He also finished fifth on the team in on-base percentage at .365.

“He was a leader out there,” Head Coach Tim Shea said. “When he got healthy, and when things started going well for him, you could’ve really seen that he was one of the guys that although he was not a captain, he took leadership on his shoulders.”

With the exception of the injuries he had to endure, Greenberg said his career with Southern was memorable, especially the team’s College World Series run in 2010.

“Honestly since I was at Southern, it was a rollercoaster ride for me personally,”

Greenberg said. “My junior and senior seasons, I battled injuries that kept me out of the lineup. It overall was a total great experience, especially when we defeated Franklin Pierce and went to the World Series. Nothing beat beating them on their own field to secure a spot in the World Series. That was pretty special.”

Along with Greenberg and Cummings, the Owl’s will additionally be without their former ace this season, Chris Zbin who was also lost to graduation.

“I know they are certainly a young team, but they have a lot of good starting pitching that has come back,” Greenberg said. “Coach Shea always finds a way to put the best players on the team, and he finds a way to win. I’m sure they will be just fine.”

Despite currently being out of baseball, Greenberg is working on an opportunity to play Independent baseball next spring. And as for “MS 4 MS”, Greenberg is currently awaiting government approval, before they can start hosting events.

“Right now we are still kind of waiting to hear back,” Greenberg said. “I sent in the paperwork to the IRS with hopes to try and get it approved to be a tax exempt non-profit organization. Once we get the approval, that’s when we can start putting fundraisers together.”

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