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2015 Spring-Training Countdown: Day 27, Sam Fuld

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A blast from the recent past.

Lisa Blumenthal/Getty Images

Uniform number 27 is not assigned to any current Cub. In fact, no Cub has worn it in a regular-season game since 2012, when it belonged to Casey Coleman. Once again, the all-time list is pretty thin:

Bobo Newsom (1932), Gene Lillard (1939), Eddie Waitkus (1941), Lennie Merullo (1941), Russ Meers (1941), George Hennessey (1945), Walter Signer (1945), Al Glossop (1946), John Ostrowski (1946), Dutch McCall (1948), Bill Serena (1949), Cal McLish (1951), Jim Brosnan (1954), Sam Jones (1955-56), Dale Long (1957), Dolan Nichols (1958), Jim Marshall (1958), Danny Murphy (1962), Don Landrum (1962-64), Doug Clemens (1964-65), Bob Raudman (1966-67), Clarence Jones (1967), Phil Regan (player 1968-72, coach 1997-98), Jim Tyrone (1972,1974-75), Pete Reiser (coach, 1973), Champ Summers (1975-76), Joe Wallis (1977), Mike Vail (1978-80), Hector Cruz (1981), Mel Hall (1982-84), Thad Bosley (1984-86), Rolando Roomes (1988), Derrick May (1990-94), Willie Banks (1995), Todd Zeile (1995), Doug Jones (1996), Scott Sanders (1999), Corey Patterson (2000), Joe Girardi (2001-02), Damian Miller (2003), David Kelton (2004), Craig Monroe (2007), Casey McGehee (2008), Sam Fuld (2009), Casey Coleman (2010-12)

The list does include a guy who threw a no-hitter wearing it (Jones in 1955), several players who had better careers elsewhere (Brosnan, McLish, Zeile, McGehee) and a couple of future managers (Marshall and Girardi).

You know, Sam Fuld turned himself into a pretty decent ballplayer. He knew his limitations, and carved out a niche as an excellent defender who could steal a base every now and again (lifetime SB percentage: 77.3) and draw a walk (lifetime OBP .316, despite a .236 BA). The photo above is from 2009, the only year he wore No. 27 and a season in which he performed well for the Cubs in a limited role (.299/.409/.412 in 109 plate appearances).

He was shipped to the Rays in the ill-fated Matt Garza deal. Granted, the Cubs eventually got some good value by sending Garza to the Rangers, but they gave up way too much to get him, including Chris Archer. Fuld would have been a very good bench player for the Cubs over the last few seasons; he's done just that for the Rays, Twins and Athletics. He's still on Oakland's 40-man roster and seems to fit in well there. I'd expect him to make their Opening Day roster.

Fuld has carved out a nice little career with modest talent. He went to Stanford, so he's got a top-notch education to work with once he retires from playing. It would not surprise me if he got into baseball management. He'd be really good at it, in my view.