Sam Fuld

Sam Fuld

Infobox MLB player
name = Sam Fuld

width =
caption =
team = Chicago Cubs
number = --
position = Outfielder
birthdate = birth date and age|1981|11|20
birthplace = city-state|Durham|New Hampshire
bats = Left
throws = Left
debutdate = September 5
debutyear = 2007
debutteam = Chicago Cubs
statyear = September 30, 2008
stat1label = Batting average
stat1value = .000
stat2label = Home runs
stat2value = 0
stat3label = Runs batted in
stat3value = 0
teams =
*Chicago Cubs (by|2007)

Samuel Babson "Sam" Fuld (born November 20, 1981, in Durham, New Hampshire) is a Jewish-American left-handed professional baseball player, and currently plays outfield for the Chicago Cubs Double A team, the Tennessee Smokies

Fuld is the son of Kenneth Fuld (Chairman of the psychology department at the University of New Hampshire) and Amanda Merrill, and got his start playing baseball when he and his grandmother played with wiffle balls.


quote box2 |width=47em | bgcolor= |align=right |halign=left | quote= "I was losing weight, I was thirsty all the time, just classic symptoms, so my parents knew something was wrong and the doctor diagnosed it right away. It was tough, but when I realized there is no other alternative, I just looked at it as a challenge." []
source= — Fuld
Fuld was diagnosed with Type I juvenile diabetes when he was 10.

When he was 12, he met pitcher Bill Gullickson, who also had diabetes, and talked to him for two minutes. "That was enough to inspire me," Fuld said. "Any time I can talk to young diabetic kids, I look forward to that opportunity." [,020208sptgullickson.article] Now, five or six times a day he opens a small black case, withdraws a glucometer, pricks a finger ("It's pretty painless; I've got calloused fingers"), and checks his blood sugar. [] He then gives himself shots of insulin at breakfast and dinner times. []

Baseball career

High school

Fuld attended Berwick Academy as an eighth grader, and then transferred to and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy. [] He was named a 2000 Preseason First Team All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, USA Today, and Fox Sports, listed 19th among the 100 Top High School Prospects of 2000 by Baseball America, and selected the New Hampshire 2000 Gatorade High School Player of the Year. He was a four-time Central New England Prep School Baseball League All-Conference player. At Exeter, he was a three-time captain and four-time MVP of the varsity baseball team. []


quote box2 |width=37em | bgcolor= |align=right |halign=left | quote= "I had pretty much made up my mind, both from my perspective and my parents' perspective, that college would be the best option for me. I really value education and I know if you sign out of high school there is always the opportunity to go back and get your degree, but it's tough to go back for four years when you're done playing ball. And I wanted to get my degree." []
source= — Fuld
Fuld was an economics major at Stanford University, from which he graduated in 2004. He was a 4-year starter. He earned All-American honors in each of his first two seasons, and All-Pac-10 honors each of his first 3 seasons. He is Stanford's all-time leader in runs scored (268) and at bats (1,071). He broke Stanford's single-season record and paced the Pac-10 with 110 hits during his sophomore campaign. He also broke the College World Series record for hits (24). [] Diving for a ball in the outfield in his second-to-last game in college, he broke his shoulder and tore his labrum. The injuries required surgery and forced a full year of rehabilitation. In his spare time, he had an internship at Stats, Inc. []

Minor leagues

In 2004, the Cubs drafted him for a second time (in the 10th round) after he turned down their offer in 2003 (after being drafted in the 24th round) to finish his senior year at Stanford. []

In 2005 he hit .300 with a .377 obp and 18 stolen bases in 443 at bats for the Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest League, a Class A league. He also collected a 17-game hit streak, and turned in 7 outfield assists from center field. []

In 2006 he hit .300 with a .378 obp and 22 steals in 353 at bats for the Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League, a Class A+ league. He was named to the league All-Star team. []

In 2007 he batted .291 with a .371 on base percentage, as he began the season with the Tennessee Smokies in the AA Southern League, in 282 at bats. [] He was the quintessential leadoff hitter for Tennessee with nearly as many walks (32) as strikeouts (33) – a recurring theme in his career, and was touted by his AA manager as having the best outfield skills on the team. []

In August, Fuld was promoted to the Iowa Cubs in the AAA Pacific Coast League, where he batted .269 with a .397 on base percentage.

Fuld played for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League in the Fall of 2007. On October 30th he was named AFL Player of the Week, after hitting .526. [] In 29 games with the Solar Sox, Fuld played center (primarily) and right fields, led off every game, led the league in batting average (.402), [] hits (43), doubles (11), total bases (67), obp (.492), and slugging percentage (.626), and was 3rd in the league in runs (20) and walks (17), 4th in stolen bases (10), and 5th in triples (2). [] [] He batted even better with runners in scoring position (.462), and against lefties (.500). []

Fuld was named the Most Valuable Player of the Arizona Fall League. [,1,4672568.story] ['s+On+Baseball%3A+Durham's+Fuld+MVP+of+Arizona+league&articleId=21c0b7ca-8702-4970-bc0d-916a4bf3fd55] He also was named to the AFL Top Prospects Team. ['Gronk'+gets+second+chance+with+Sox&articleId=21c82c52-1b68-47bb-b487-84009e818507] quote box2 |width=17em | bgcolor= |align=left |halign=left | quote="Sammy Ballgame." [] |source= — Nickname given Fuld by his Mesa Solar Sox teammates.Fuld also won the Dernell Stenson Award for Leadership for unselfishness, hard work, and leadership. [] [] He donated all the money he raised from the auction he had in conjunction with winning the Stenson Award to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. [] [] "This kid plays the game like it's supposed to be played," said Mesa Solar Sox manager Dave Clark. "I had talked to his (Double-A Tennessee) manager, Pat Listach, before the season and he told me I'd fall in love with the kid. He just exemplifies what this award is all about." []] |source= — Matt Johnson, trainer for the Iowa CubsIn 2008, Fuld started the season with the AAA Iowa Cubs. There, due to his fearless defense, he was referred to as "a crash test dummy with a death wish, a "human wrecking ball act," a "wall magnet," and a "manager's dream and a trainer's worst nightmare." []

Major leagues

Chicago Cubs (2007-current)


In September 2007, the Chicago Cubs called up Fuld to the major league team. [] He made his debut September 5 against the Los Angeles Dodgers as a 9th inning defensive replacement in center field. Fuld was originally sent out to left field, but an error in the scorecard required him to shift to center.

"I have so much respect for players like (Cubs first baseman) Derrek Lee," Fuld said. "They're great players. But to meet them and actually play with them and contribute and help them win is kind of a surreal experience. It doesn't seem too long ago that I was going to Fenway (Park in Boston) and idolizing these guys. I feel like a fan at times. I have to remind myself I'm a player." []

In September he was "forced" to sing Stanford's fight song on the team bus as part of rookie treatment. ['s+On+Baseball%3A+Fuld+gets+a+taste+of+big-league+life&articleId=1d163b68-a71d-4578-b28e-8c9c21497eed] Later in the month, he was hazed after a game, made to walk from the park in Cincinnati to the team's downtown hotel in a Batgirl getup, accompanied by Felix Pie in pink baby pajamas, Carmen Pignatiello (Supergirl), and Kevin Hart (Wonder Woman). [,093007cubs2star.article] After peeking at his outfit, before he had to don it, Fuld said: "I think it was Batgirl. I was actually looking forward to it, believe it or not. [I didn't try it on] I'm pretty sure I would've looked good in it. Black's my color. I never did the frat thing in college, so this would kind of be like that." []

Against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 22, 2007, Fuld made a "spectacular," [,CST-SPT-cub21.article] "daredevil" [] jarring catch just left of the 368-foot marker in right-center field at Wrigley Field, robbing the Pirates' Nyjer Morgan of extra bases, slamming into the ivy, and then in the next motion firing a one-hop strike to double off a Pirate baserunner at first base. [] The home crowd erupted, he received a standing ovation as an acknowledgment of his hard-nosed play, and the fans chanted his name when he came to bat in the eighth inning. [] The play later made ESPN on Baseball Tonight as the # 1 web gem of the day. After the season, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune cited it as the Cubs' "Play of the Year." [,1,4247420.story]

Fuld did not make the Cubs' 25-man playoff roster.

When the Cubs traded their starting left-handed center fielder Jacque Jones in November 2007, general manager Jim Hendry indicated that the club isn't necessarily looking outside for a veteran, with Felix Pie and Fuld in the mix. [,CST-SPT-cub13.article]


Fuld pushed Pie for the center field spot during spring training (Piniella in late February said that Pie was only "a head or nose in front" of Fuld), [,0,7349544.story] [] and might stick as a backup. [] "He's ready to go out there in spring training lined up next to Pie and compete to play center field," Hendry said of Fuld. "He's a baseball player. He can run. He's a tremendous defensive player. I'm certainly not going to count him out." [] Pinella, for his part, said: "He's the type of kid who can catch your eye in one day. But the more you watch him, the more you look at his particular skills, he impresses you. He's an athlete and has really good actions in the outfield, and then he plays a small man's game with the bat, which is what he should do -- hits the ball all over, puts it in play, keeps it on the ground." Whoever wins the center-field job, Pie or Fuld, would bat eighth. [,1,3674921.story]

"It's exciting to have any sort of opportunity to make the team and contribute," Fuld said. "I'm looking forward to it. It's a little ways away, but it feels like it's just around the corner.... They know I'll be preparing myself over the winter. I know what the stakes are." Hendry said Fuld is among the club's untouchables: "We're not going to trade [Fuld] ," Hendry said. "It's pretty simple." [,1,4672568.story]

On March 10th it was announced that Fuld would get a good look the next few days in center field. Pie underwent a procedure to correct testicular torsion, and was to be sidelined at least a week. "Let's give him a chance," Piniella said. "This will be an opportunity for him to make some noise." []

As of March 14, he was third in the NL in walks in spring training with 9 despite only 28 at bats, and had a .368 obp. []

In late March, however, Pinella said Pie will open the season as the starting center fielder over Fuld. [] Fuld began the season at AAA Iowa and was demoted to the AA Tennessee Smokies in May after struggling at the plate due to a hand injury. After hitting no higher than .245 in May, June, and July, he had a torrid August, hitting .345/.424/.445. In early September, he was again promoted to AAA for Iowa's playoff run.

Recognition and awards

* 2000 - Preseason 1st Team All-American
* 2000 - 19th on Baseball America's 100 Top High School Prospects list
* 2000 - New Hampshire Gatorade High School Baseball Player of the Year
* Set all-time College World Series record for career hits
* 2001 - Freshman 2nd team All-America OF
* 2001 - Pac-10 Conference All-Star OF
* 2002 - 1st team College All-American OF
* 2002 - College World Series All-Tournament Team OF
* 2002 - Pac-10 Conference All-Star OF
* 2003 - Summer League First-Team All-American OF
* 2003 - Pac-10 Conference All-Star OF
* 2006 - Florida State League Player of the Week (5/21)
* 2006 - Topps Florida State League Player of the Month (5/31)
* 2006 - Florida State League All-Star OF
* 2007 - Arizona Fall League Player of the Week (10/30)
* 2007 - Arizona Fall League Top Prospects Team
* 2007 - Arizona Fall League Dernell Stenson Award
* 2007 - Arizona Fall League Most Valuable Player


*Each year during the baseball off-season, Fuld returns to Stanford University, where he is pursuing a master's degree in statistics.


* [ ESPN]
* [ MLB]
* [ Baseball America stats]
* [ Fangraphs stats]
* [ Tennessee Smokies bio]
* [ Stanford bio]
* [ Baseball Cube profile]
* [ "Fielder's choice," 4/23/00]
* [ "A closer look at Sam Fuld," 4/12/01]
* [ "All Access Pass with the Cubs Sam Fuld; Covering all the bases and center with Fuld," 5/22/06]
* [ "Batting it around; Psychologist studies dynamics of a hit, a passion his son shares," 8/24/06]
* [ "Fuld is Clutch at Full Speed," 7/11/07]
* [ "Fuld Getting it Done," 8/9/07]
* [ "Sam Fuld fitting in with Cubs," 9/7/07]
* [ Fuld's catch at ivy, 9/22/07]
* [ "Fuld adds AFL MVP to strong resume; Cubs prospect recalls stellar fall season, looks ahead to '08,", 12/4/07]

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