Sam Fuld has contributed big to the Cubs with little playing time
Sam Fuld Returns to Chicago
Hey Sam Fuld, it’s NICE to see you again! For those of you that don’t remember, Sam Fuld was a Class-AA minor leaguer called up to Chicago in September 2007 during the heat of the pennant race. That year Sam Fuld only had 6 at bats but saw action in 16 games, mostly as a late inning defensive replacement or pinch runner.
The Sam Fuld Catch
But in his short call up in 2007, Sam Fuld made a big impression with Cubs fans by way of a SPECTACULAR catch he made on September 22, 2007 at Wrigley Field. It was late in the game and the Pirates were trying to cash in on a scoring opportunity with a man on first.
Nijer Morgan bashed a sharp drive to right-center field. Sam Fuld charged hard at the ball, brick wall be damned, and made an amazing catch before crashing into the ivy. Fuld wasn’t hurt though and bounced of the ivy and came off immediately throwing a perfect shot to Derrek Lee at first base for the double play. The home crowd erupted and Sam Fuld received a standing ovation for his run back to the dugout.
You can definitely mention “The Sam Fuld Catch” and any Cubs fan who saw it will know exactly what you’re talking about. Sam Fuld’s catch was great, right up there with The Amazing Catches of Reed Johnson or Jim Edmonds.
“Yeah, it was great. I mean, you go up there in September… you’re going to have limited opportunities…. and your goal is to just make any sort of impact you can, and to be able to do it in a situation like that was incredible“. - Sam Fuld on “The Catch”
Sam Fuld has been remembered by that catch ever since, but mostly just because we’ve never seen Sam Fuld in the majors again. Although he was considered to be “in the mix” for centerfield going into 2008 spring training, Fuld would not make the team. The Cubs gave the starting centerfield job to Felix Pie, which he eventually lost to the spectacular Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds platoon. Fuld never ended up being called to join the team in 2008.
Sam Fuld 2009
Though we didn’t see Sam Fuld in all of 2008, many fans still remembered him because of that catch and we hoped that he might get the call up again. Fuld was invited to spring training in 2009 and made a good showing. Although only considered to only be a “mid-level” prospect, he had shown the Cubs that he was “a gamer”, and Chicago sports fans love a “gamer”.
Sam Fuld finally got his chance when he was called up to join the Chicago Cubs again on June 29, 2009, taking the spot of Aaron Miles who went on the disabled list. He had been swinging a hot bat at Iowa and the Cubs management decided to give him the call.
Not only did he get the call up, Pinella gave Sam Fuld the start in left field in place of the resting Alfonso Soriano. Fuld even got his chance to shine by being placed in the high profile lead off spot, rather than the number eight place you might expect a rookie without a hit in the major leagues to see action.
Sam Fuld Leads Off
So what did he do with his chance to impress? Sam Fuld finally got that first major league hit, a single to lead off the game against the Brewers. Two batters later he would score on Derrek Lee’s towering two run home run.
Fuld ended up going 2/4 with a walk, made two good catches in the outfield and even threw out a baserunner trying to score at home in spectacular fashion. The Cubs won that game against the Pirates 4-1, giving another rookie David Wells his third straight winning decision and a much needed win on the way home. Welcome back!
Pinella rewarded Fuld’s performance with a second start in left field and hitting leadoff. Sam Fuld would reach base three times yet again, including reaching base to lead of the game for the second time in a row. He then scored again, on yet another hot hitting Derrek Lee home run. Fuld contributed with his bat and his glove once more, but this game will end up being known for Derrek Lee’s 7 RBI.
Sam Fuld has looked great in the lead off spot. I had almost forgotten what a traditional lead off man looks like: taking lots of pitches, working the count so the guys behind him can see the pitchers “stuff”, leading off games by getting on base, and taking a walk every single game. I liked what I saw. I don’t how much of Fuld we’ll get to see but he looks like he has the potential to contibute. The Cubs won both games he led off in, he hit, walked and scored in every game. You can’t argue with results.
Welcome back to the big leagues Sam Fuld!
Keep playing like you have and you’ll see more playing time.
Sam Fuld Rookie Card
Sam Fuld Rookie Cards on Ebay
Cubs place Miles on DL; Fuld called up – Cubs.com
Sam Fuld Leads Cubs To 4-1 Win Over Pirates (With Help From Randy Wells) – Bleed Cubbie Blue
Pitching prevails in Cubs’ win over Bucs – Cubs.com
Piniella calls Fuld ‘prototype leadoff man,’ but sits him anyway – Chicago Tribune