Thursday, September 6, 2007

Everything comes back to ... Stanford?

The Chicago Cubs clubhouse is beginning to look like Omaha circa 2000.

And I don't mean because it's filled with players from the 2000 Omaha Royals. Instead, when rosters expanded, the North Siders added another player with ties to the 2000 College World Series.

Chicago already had Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot -- LSU's keystone combination -- on the roster. Mark Prior, injured for all of 2007, was a sophomore pitcher for USC in 2000.

The fraternity grew by one this week when the Cubs called up Sam Fuld, an outfielder whose Stanford Cardinal lost to LSU in the championship game that year when Brad Cresse lined an RBI single in the ninth inning.

I saw Fuld's name appear in a box score Thursday and it jogged my memory. For the unitiated, Fuld holds the CWS record for career hits -- as his Cardinal reached the CWS all four years he played in Palo Alto.

Fuld was, and apparently still is, a grinder in the truest since of the word. He dilligently worked his way through the Cubs' chain until reaching Wrigley.

Funny but it doesn't seem like seven-plus years have passed since I watched Fuld, Theriot, Fontenot, Prior and several other future big leaguers (Brad Hawpe, Scott Dohmann and others) hone their craft in middle America.


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