Sam Fuld isn’t a household name — unless you’re a baseball fan. In case you didn’t know, until a few months ago, he “… owned the dubious all-time distinction of having batted more than a hundred times at the Major League level before recording an R.B.I. His reputation, to the extent that he had one, was for running heedlessly into outfield fences face first.”
But in the last 2 months, he’s led the American League in batting average and stolen bases. At 29, he’s become a superstar. Late bloomer? Go figure.
But most interesting (at least to me) is that when he was 12 years old, Little Leaguer Sam was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. And not long after a major league pitcher with diabetes visited his team to talk about how he’s managed to live a successful career even with this challenge.
Fuld’s coach has said his amazing moves on the field aren’t what has captured the imagination of fans. he said fans love Fuld not because he’s Superman — but because he plays like Clark Kent. “There are a lot of average Americans who can identify with this fellow,” says Maddon. “He’s hard not to like. He’s Everyman.”
Here’s what I get from his story :
- Play to your gifts but do what you love. Fuld was an economics major at Stanford but chose baseball. I’ll bet it wasn’t because he thought it was a more prudent financial move but because his passion motivated him to work really hard against ALL odds.
- Find mentors and mentor others. Most people don’t understand what it’s like to live with a chronic illness- – especially in a young person. Look for those who live successfully with what you face and make them your North Star.
- Figure out your own yardstick for success. There are many who will give you advice about what to do or how to live your life. But you’re best bet is to develop your own voice and listen to it.
I love the idea of Fuld as Clark Kent. I’m tired of super men or women and really admire those of us who just do the best we can what what we’ve got. What do you think?