The legend was born in 2011, as the freezing cold of Chicago took a brutal toll on the Rays. The players were not adequately inspired and their performance suffered. The answer was inserting Sam Fuld into the lineup, the electric substance created by the Fuld's in Durham, New Hampshire.
Sam Fuld: the man, the myth, the legend. He gets Chick-Fil-A on Sundays, he slams revolving door shuts, he is bored by the most interesting man in the world because he has already been there and done that, and Superman wears Sam Fuld pajamas. Men want to be him, women want to be with him, Nike has contacted him about doing a commercial with Cotton Eye Joe, and Gatorade is ramping up a, "Be Like Sam" campaign. Barry Levinson wants to remake The Natural, but as a true story, about Sam Fuld.
Before the hype gets completely out of control, we figured we would ask some of the more famous people in baseball folklore about the latest passion of the Rays fanbase.
We spoke with Annie Savoy, a Rays fan who is also a fan of the Durham Bulls and asked her to speak about her belief in Sam Fuld's abilities. She tells us that she, "believes in the Church of Baseball." She went on to say that she has tried all of the major religions and most of the minors ones. In her words, "I've worshped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, and mushrooms but now I worship Sam Fuld."
Frankly, we find this kind of hero worship of a new player to be a little creepy, so we went and asked the local minor league veteran, Crash Davis.Certainly, Davis could offer some reality to the situation as he has been in the minor leagues forever and has seen flashes in the pan come and go in his 13 years in the minor leagues. As we approached the field, we heard Crash yelling at a player on the Bulls roster and we think that player will never make the mistake of crossing Davis again. Here's the transcript:
Oh hey, and another thing, rook. You don't know sh*t, all right! If you wanna be like Sam Fuld, you'll listen to me. Annie only wants you so she can boss you around and pretend you're Sam Fuld in the sack. So relax! Let's have some fun out here!
When we asked Davis about his experience in the show, he spoke fondly of his one call-up to the major leagues, "the 21 greatest days of my life," as he put it. "You know, you never handle your luggage in the show, somebody else carries your bags. It was great, you hit white balls for batting practice, the ballparks were like cathedrals, and the women all had long legs and brains. The only problem, all of the women wanted to be with Sam Fuld."
We tried to sit down with Ray Kinsella for this interview, but his wife said he was already on his way to Boston. She said he heard a voice that said, "Go the distance to see Sam Fuld play at Fenway." We tracked down Jimmy Dugan, but all he had to say was tell Fuld to, "avoid the clap." Harry Doyle tells us the Rays are holding a "Die-hard Night" in the near future. He says there will be free admission to anyone who actually remembers the last time Sam Fuld didn't hustle.
We even tracked down Roy Hobbs who admitted to us that he could have been better and that he could have broken every record in the book. When we challenged him about what he would have done after that, he replied, "When I walked down the street people would've looked and said there goes Roy Hobbs, but he was no Sam Fuld."
Terrance Mann said it best, "The one constant through all of the years in Rays Nation, has been baseball. The balances in our 401 Ks have been erased like a chalkboarde, but baseball has marked the time. This dome, this game, is a part of our heritage. It reminds us of all that was once good, and that will be good again, but it will never be as great as Sam Fuld."
After the game last night, Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona was asked how a team with 25% of the payroll of his club could come into Fenway and take the first two games of the series from them cementing Boston's status in the cellar of the AL East. His answer was brief, "We didn't have Sam Fuld. That was the difference."