By Peter Schwartz
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In 2005, Adam Greenberg stepped to the plate in his major-league debut. On the first pitch he saw, Greenberg was hit in the head and suffered problems with his eyesight. Greenberg would continue to play in the minor leagues, but he always hoped for another chance in the majors.
A social-media campaign allowed him to sign a one-day contract to play for the Miami Marlins on October 2, 2012. He entered that game against the Mets and struck out, but was able to live out his dream.
This Sunday, he’ll receive another honor when he is one of seven players inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack.
Past inductees include legendary Boston Celtics head coach Red Auerbach; sportscaster Marv Albert; former Yankee Ron Blomberg; former Jets quarterback Jay Fiedler; former sportscaster Marty Glickman; baseball Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg; former Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax; former Islanders broadcaster Barry Landers; Mets broadcaster Howie Rose; former basketball star Dolph Schayes; former Olympian Mark Spitz and former U.S. women’s soccer star Sara Whalen.
The Hall of Fame, founded in 1975, is dedicated to honoring Jewish sports figures who have distinguished themselves in the field of sports. The museum has plaques honoring those inducted on permanent display.
Other inductees this Sunday include tennis players Angela Buxton and Jay Berger, NFL agent Joel Segal, bowler Mark Roth and basketball players Barry Kramer and Don Goldstein.
An All-American at Louisville, Goldstein played for the Cardinals from 1956 to 1958 and is a member of the school’s basketball Hall of Fame. He led Louisville to its first ever Final Four and was a first-round pick of the Detroit Pistons. He actually turned down a chance to go pro in order to attend dental school. Goldstein’s parents were deaf-mutes, so he was raised by his grandmother. Today, he lives in Huntington and does pro bono work for Spanish communities on Long Island.
Also on Sunday, the George Young Award — given to the person who has best exemplified the high ideals that the former Giants general manager displayed — will be presented posthumously to basketball player Alan Bluman, while fellow basketball player Jack Laub will receive the Dick Steinberg Good Guy Award.
The Hall of Fame will also honor high-school athletes including Wimbledon junior champion Noah Rubin and lacrosse player Will Sands from Friends Academy. College athletes to be honored are lacrosse player Jordan Wolf from Duke University and Bentley University basketball player Lauren Battista.
A complete list of Jewish Sports Hall of Fame inductees/honorees can be found on the Hall of Fame’s website.
Tickets are available for Sunday’s induction ceremony. For more information, call 631-462-9800.
You can follow me on Twitter @pschwartzcbsfan.
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