The Success Of “Super Sam”Aug 02, 2015Posted by james
Sam Fuld’s family had no illusion that he would become a big league baseball player. Sam was a chubby kid. His parents called him “Sumo Sam.” When he grew out of what his dad called a husky phase, Sam didn’t get much taller. But, he dreamed about playing professional baseball. He was realistic, though, as he also knew the odds were against him.
Sam doesn’t fit the mold of a major league baseball player. He is listed at 5-foot-10, but he is closer to 5-foot-9. He hails from chilly New Hampshire, where baseball gets a late start each year. Sam also is a type 1 diabetic and he must monitor his blood sugar between innings.
Sam was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 10. At first, he was puzzled by the constant testing and the related factors that affected his health. But, the medical issue became a family matter. Everyone focused on eating healthy food and they all got involved in the hourly obsession with blood sugar.
Through all this, Sam never gave up playing baseball. He finally made it to the majors with the Chicago Cubs during 2007. He then moved on to the Tampa Bay Rays, where he made some outstanding plays that frustrated New York Yankees fans. His defense became popular YouTube viewing and teammates started to wear “Super Sam” capes.
While in Tampa, Sam jumped at the chance to oversee sports camps for children with type 1 diabetes. He collaborated with the University of South Florida Diabetes Center. More than 100 boys and girls from all over the country have attended the camps during the past four years.
Back on the field, Sam today is playing for the Oakland Athletics. Jim “Catfish” Hunter once pitched for the A’s. He also was a diabetic. So was Ron Santo, who played third base with Sam’s first MLB team, the Chicago Cubs. Among his contemporaries who also have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are pitchers Brandon Morrow of the San Diego Padres and Dustin McGowan in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
From “Sumo Sam” to “Super Sam,” Sam Fuld has realized a dream despite the obstacle of diabetes. He said the journey has been a huge rollercoaster ride, but that he has enjoyed every bump and turn. Most of all, he doesn’t have any regrets.