Fuld goes deep to notch first RBI
Outfielder plates a pair to end personal drought
CHICAGO -- The Doug Davis curveball swept across the plate, Sam Fuld swung hard and the ball soared toward the right-field wall.
At that moment, in the fifth inning of Sunday's 5-2 loss to the D-backs in the season finale, Fuld had 101 official Major League at-bats. He couldn't tell if the ball would carry out of the park, taking the monkey on his back with it.
"I wasn't sure," Fuld said. "I hit it pretty well, and I knew the wind was kind of blowing out in that direction, so I knew it had a chance. Then I saw [right fielder Justin] Upton going back like he had a chance to catch it, and maybe some negative thoughts crept in there, but when I saw him look up, that's when I knew. Pretty amazing feeling."
Fuld crossed home plate and made his way to the Cubs' dugout. He stepped inside and grinned, but there were no high fives or pats on the back. Everyone stared straight ahead without a word.
Fuld realized what was happening. His teammates were giving him the silent treatment.
"I kind of sniffed out what they were doing when I got back in there," Fuld said. "But it meant a lot to me."
Eventually, the Cubs converged on Fuld to congratulate him. It wasn't the first time they had given him a hard time. Ever since Fuld started getting attention for his RBI-less career, he had been the target for good-natured clubhouse razzing.
According to STATS, no other player since 1920 has had more than 67 career at-bats without an RBI. Although Fuld hit .299 with an on-base percentage of better than .400 this season, he also was 5-for-24 with no extra-base hits in his career with runners in scoring position.
"It took so long, I figured something weird would happen like that, but I didn't know it was going to be a home run," Fuld said. "I thought maybe it'd be a hit by pitch or something like that. But yeah, it's nice to get it out of the way."
Fuld used one of Jeff Baker's bats, which must carry some sort of magic. According to Baker, Jeff Samardzija also used one to hit his first Major League homer a couple of weeks earlier.
No matter whose lumber it was, Baker gave the credit to Fuld, who has hit 20 homers in five Minor League seasons.
"Sammy barreled it up," Baker said. "He hit the ball well, and it was great for him to get those zeroes off the board."
In his next trip to the plate, Fuld came up with a runner on third and one out and grounded out to bring in a run. Just like that, another RBI.
"It takes 100 at-bats to do it, and then you get them in two at-bats in a row," Fuld said, "but that's why it's such a funny game sometimes."
Andrew Simon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.