In September 2018, rumors swirled that a potential dark horse in the running for the Texas Rangers’ manager job was none other than Sam Fuld. Yes, that Sam Fuld.
Could there ever be another Sam Fuld? Before Kevin Kiermaier made running into outfield walls in the pursuit of outrageous catches an everyday occurrence at the Trop, there was Sam Fuld.
Acquired by the Rays in January 2011, the 5’9” dynamo from Durham, NH played three seasons in Tampa Bay. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Sam Fuld only played 267 games for the Rays. While his 134 hits and five home runs in 582 at-bats weren’t particularly memorable, his fierce, all-out play in the outfield made him a quick, fan favorite.
He patrolled all over Joe Maddon’s outfield, and twice even ended up on the pitching mound (once in a classic Maddon fake-out, the second to actually pitch). By the time the Rays granted Fuld free agency in December 2013, No. 5 had secured a spot in Tampa Bay lore.
So, where is Sam Fuld now?
Where the front office meets the field.
After announcing his retirement from baseball in 2017, Fuld signed on to be the Phillies’ first Major League Player-Information Coordinator. In the newly created position, the Economics grad from Stanford University was charged with being the intermediary between the scouts and their trusted analytics and the ballplayers and their well-earned skepticism. Running from the front office to the field, and armed with his knowledge of numbers and the barely faded dirt on his uniform, Fuld has run with the opportunity afforded him in Philadelphia.
And, so far, the Sam Fuld magic is working.
The Phillies’ success in 2018 is proof of that. In fact, it’s likely one of the reasons Fuld’s name popped up in the manager-game this offseason. While the Texas opportunity never cleared the rumor stage, there is talk that Fuld could very soon be given another on-the-field opportunity in baseball.
When Todd Zolecki of MLB.com (who broke this story in September 2018), asked Fuld if he would consider delaying a shot at moving up in the front office for another chance in a uniform, Fuld replied,
“I’m not at a point where I’m willing to rule out either side, and it’s certainly very flattering to be even brought up in the conversation. I think I’ve learned both sides are incredibly interesting, and I’ve enjoyed both. I’d certainly be foolish not to entertain it.”
Whichever road the 37-year old decides to follow, Rays’ fans know Sam Fuld will head full-steam at any walls foolish enough to get in his way.