From the Pages of Vine Line: Dave Sappelt
Cubs outfielder Dave Sappelt is used to having to prove himself. The 5-foot-9, Buffalo, N.Y., native, who came to the Cubs in the Sean Marshall deal, may not look like a prototypical major league player, but he definitely knows how to swing the bat. While in the Reds system, he was the Southern League MVP in 2010 and minor league hitter of the year in 2011. After spending most of 2012 at Triple-A Iowa, Sappelt was called up to the Cubs on Sept. 1 and hit .275/.351/.440 in 78 plate appearances. For the December issue of Vine Line, we talked to the 25-year-old Twitter junkie and Buffalo Bills die-hard about battling stereotypes, hitting his first home run and his prolific Twitter posting (by the way, he’s well worth a follow at @SappySappelt6).
SOUTHERN LEAGUE MVP It was like [being in] college playing in Double-A. That year, I really learned how to hit and split the plate in half. There are so many factors in hitting that a lot of people don’t understand—like the ball moving so much. They’ve got so many different pitches you’ve got to really do something to help yourself. That year, I feel like I really stuck with my plan of cutting the plate down, only hitting certain pitches and only trying to hit those pitches to a certain spot on the field. It all came together.
LITTLE BIG MAN It definitely made it harder [not being the prototypical size]. In college, I put up first-round numbers, but I got drafted in the ninth round. [My size has] always been against me, but every year I’ve proven I’m hitting just as good as or better than the big dogs. So it doesn’t really bother me at all. I’m out to prove something every game, every day. I sleep with a chip on my shoulder.
FIRST ROUND-TRIPPER I think it will be [something I remember for the rest of my life]. When I hit it, I knew it was my first home run, but I tried to pimp it really good. It’s engraved in my brain. I’ll always remember that.
TWITTER JUNKIE The way I was raised, the fans are just as important as the players. And I communicate with the fans and tell them how I feel and how I’m feeling. There are some things I obviously can’t say, but for the most part, I stretch the limit pretty good and I enjoy it. I’ve been told to watch my tweets, but I haven’t said anything that’s going to get me in trouble yet. If I say something wrong, it’s probably that I didn’t mean it.
AROUND THE CLOCK I’m pretty much baseball 24/7—plus video games. When I’m not playing Call of Duty, I’m usually watching SportsCenter.
To read the complete interview with Dave Sappelt, pick up the December issue of Vine Line, available now at select Jewel-Osco, Walgreens, Meijer, Barnes & Noble and other Chicago-area retailers. Or subscribe to Vine Line today.