If there was 25th Man Award in baseball, Sam Fuld would win it hands down. Rarely do you find a player who starts a game about once every ten days contribute so much to a teams success. What other 25th man has ever had his own promotional giveaway?
The perfect example was the game with Boston game and his contribution to “the play at the plate” When it all took place, Fuld was actually the third left fielder in the game replacing Matt Joyce who had replaced Sean Rodriguez. It turned out to be a subtle but important move by Joe Maddon. When a fly ball was hit to left with the the tying run on third and less than two outs, Fuld positioned himself perfectly for the throw, waved off Jennings, caught the ball and executed a letter perfect on bounce throw to Jose Molina who tagged the baserunner Nava. He threw the ball with such force that he did a flip in the outfield.
All the news and video about the play concentrated on Molina blocking the plate and the lack of proper position by the umpire but the play never would have happened without Fuld’s throw.
That’s the way Fuld goes about his business. A diving catch here. A stolen base there. Maybe a sacrifice bunt or a walk in a crucial part of the game. Little stuff that doesn’t grab the headlines but goes a long ways towards winning a lot of games.
Someday, he will lose his job. Some prospect will be out of options and will have to be added to the 25 man roster. That’s baseball. In the meantime, thanks Sam.