Yesterday brought the 2009 season to a close, and despite the Cubs being out of it, the 162nd game reminded me why we stick it through to the end.
This time it was to see Sam Fuld pick up his first major-league RBI. And of course, he did it with some style, hitting a home run to deep rightfield to get it done all by himself. Fuld made a name for himself — and rewarded many of the organization’s scouts and minor-league coaches who have praised him for his baseball IQ and plate discipline — this season with a number of full-extension catches as well as a .299 batting average and .409 on-base percentage.
Being that it was Fuld’s first home run, it was worth paying close attention to the dugout’s reaction. Sure enough, the team gave Fuld the silent treatment while the outfielder beckoned them on a little bit. They held still until Fuld walked by Derrek Lee, who reached back to give him a big pat on the back.
“I kind of sniffed out what they were doing when I got back in there,” Fuld told reporters. “But it meant a lot to me.”
Once again, Cubs fans, you showed why you are the best in baseball. After Derrek Lee’s eighth-inning flyout, the near-sellout crowd gave him a standing ovation for his outstanding season.
“I wasn’t expecting it; I didn’t know how to react,” Lee told reporters after the game. “I appreciate it. It was really cool.”
Thanks to all of our fans who supported us at the ballpark or across the nation by subscribing to Vine Line this season.
Seen around the ballpark this last weekend:
? Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster continuing to go on runs together, even after Lilly had thrown his last pitch in 2009.
? Top Cubs prospects Brett Jackson, Casey Coleman and Kyler Burke wearing eager smiles as they were taken through the Cubs clubhouse to meet the big-leaguers and on the field for a ceremony with Double-A manager Ryne Sandberg (right).
? Sandberg and Lou Piniella talking Cubs baseball in the home dugout, minutes before the national anthem on Saturday.
— Sean Ahmed