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In which Sam Fuld misses the cycle, but captures our hearts

Apr 12, 2011, 10:48 AM EDT

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samfuld AP

Only 291 players in the history of Major League Baseball have hit for the cycle (my favorite: Baby Doll Jacobson), and some great ones, including Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, have never done it. The Rays’ Sam Fuld had a chance to join that exclusive club on Monday, but turned it down. With his team leading the Red Sox 15-3, and needing only a single to complete the cycle, Fuld roped a ball to left but declined to stop at first, instead legging out a double.

So shines a good deed in a weary world.

From SB Nation:

Instead of stopping at first base – as his teammates were screaming at him from the bench to do – Fuld hustled into second base for his second double of the game.

If you’d like to consider this as hitting for the cycle, Fuld would be only the second player in Rays history to hit for the cycle. B.J. Upton was the first player.

USA Today:

“I thought about it (stopping) a little bit, but only really jokingly,” said Fuld, who raised his average to .321. “My best bet was if Reid (Brignac, ahead of him on the bases) had tripped an fallen. Then I wouldn’t have been the bad guy.”

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon likes to see Fuld thinking “double.”

“I don’t want him to think ‘power.’ Doubles are good for him,” Maddon said. “(Not settling for a single) speaks to Sam’s integrity, right there. He plays with such zeal and intelligence, he’s just fun to watch.”

Fuld played for Stanford and was drafted by the Cubs in 2004, where he quickly earned the reputation as a hard-nosed competitor who would literally run into walls to make a catch. He spent a good deal of the 2007 and 2009 seasons bouncing between Triple-A and the majors. But he never got a real chance to prove what he could do in Chicago, and was traded to Tampa Bay in 2010, where he’s currently hitting .321 for the Rays.

Monday’s homer was only the second of his big league career, so the cycle may not come his way again any time soon.

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Sam Fuld: American hero [Rumors & Rants]
Sam Fuld rules the world [Drays Bay]