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Legend of Fuld quick to take hold
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff

Cubs right fielder Sam Fuld, right, gets a hug from Jacque Jones after a leaping catch in the seventh inning.


Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

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Published: 9/23/2007 3:00 AM

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Not since a fella named Sosa patrolled right field had the chants of "Sammy, Sammy" rained down at Wrigley Field.

A 5-foot-10 fella named Sam Fuld made it happen in Saturday's 9-5 victory for the Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Playing right field as a defensive replacement, Fuld turned in a gem to end the top of the seventh inning. First, he crashed back-first into the wall to catch a drive by Nyjer Morgan. Fuld then had the presence of mind to fire a one-hop strike to first base, doubling off Nate McLouth.

"How about that play? Isn't that a beautiful play?" asked manager Lou Piniella. "We just put him in for defense. He went to the wall, made a great play and then turned around and made a one-hop strike to first base. Pretty impressive."

Fuld, who spent most of this year at Class AA Tennessee before his September call-up, has made two big catches this year -- one Saturday and one last weekend at St. Louis.

"I knew I had a chance at it," Fuld said. "It hung up there just enough so I could get to it. I knew it was going to be pretty close between me and the wall. There was just enough room there."

When Fuld came to bat in the eighth, the crowd gradually rose to its feet and cheered Fuld.

"It was crazy," he said. "I definitely recognized it walking to the box. Once I got in there, you kind of zone that all out. I really appreciated it as I was walking to the home plate."

Fuld didn't break minor-league camp because of an oblique injury and never really was on the public or media radar all year.

"It's been quite a roller coaster of a year," he said.