BOSTON — Sam Fuld grew up an avid Red Sox fan, attending dozens of games at Fenway Park as a kid.
"I had Nomar Garciaparra posters (in my bedroom)," he said. "I had Roger Clemens posters. I was a typical Red Sox fan like anybody else in New England."
The 29-year-old Durham, N.H. native, whose two favorite players growing up were Garciaparra and Wade Boggs, always dreamed of one day playing at Fenway Park himself.
"I think any kid growing up in this area, it's a dream of theirs," Fuld said. "I never thought it would come true. I was always pretty realistic. I was a short, little outfielder. I thought at best I'd get a chance to play some sort of professional baseball. But to actually come here and play, it exceeded all my expectations."
Fuld, the son of a New Hampshire state senator, Amanda Merrill, lived out his dream and even more Monday night. He made his Fenway debut and possibly had one of the best Fenway debuts that anyone has ever had.
Fuld went 4 for 6 with a two-run homer, three runs scored and three RBIs. He was a single short of hitting for the cycle. He actually hit a double off the Green Monster in the ninth inning and he could have stopped at first to complete the cycle but he didn't think that would have been right.
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon tweeted after the game: "Speaks to Sam's integrity that he didn't stop at 1st to get the cycle in the 9th. It's what he's all about."
It is what Fuld is all about.
He worked hard to get to the majors, as he isn't very big (he is listed at 5-10, 180 pounds but is probably about two inches smaller) and he also has had to deal with diabetes.