This former Whiteville High baseball standout was enshrined in 2007 and once tossed a no-hitter in the major leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies May 23, 1991, against then Montreal Expos, now the Washington Nationals. He also made a start in the 1993 World Series and finished sixth in the National League Cy Young Award balloting.
“He could have been a great pitcher,’’ former major league advance scout Eddie Lyons told staff writer Chuck Carree. “He could have been another Catfish Hunter.’’
That is lofty praise, considering the late Hunter is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Greene’s best season was in 1991 when he finished 16-4 with a 3.42 ERA and beat the team that originally drafted him – the Atlanta Braves in the NL playoffs.
Numerous arm ailments shortened Greene’s career. He lasted attempted a comeback in 2000 with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Greene was one of the most dominant pitchers in N.C. High School Athletic Association history, with a fastball in the 91-94 mph range. He still holds the record for strikeouts in a single season with 270 in 1985 – the same year the Braves made him the 14th overall selection in the Major League Baseball Draft.
His 1985 season included nine no-hitters and an 0.07 ERA.
He was voted the 10th best sports star in the area in the Star-News’ Athletes of the Century series in December 1999.
He now resides in Richmond, Va.
Date posted: March 23, 2009