Billy Hamilton made another amazing catch, so here are six more of his best this year
Billy Hamilton is unstoppable. The physics that govern the rest of us -- like the gravity that tethers us to the ground or the wind resistance that slows us down -- simply doesn't apply to the Reds center fielder. He showed why in the seventh inning of Friday's 9-1 win against the Cardinals. Matt Carpenter blasted a pitch to deep center and Hamilton leaped at the wall, seemed to hover in the air, and caught the ball.
Amir Garrett certainly enjoyed it:
"I've never seen a catch like that before, live," Garrett said after the game. "I think that has to be one of the greatest catches I have seen in my life. Billy is, in my opinion, he's the best center fielder in the game. There's not anyone close to No. 1. To have a guy like that behind you, you never know what he's going to do. The only thing I haven't seen is him catching a ball behind his back. He's done everything else.
"My face said it all. That was great to be a part of. That was sick."
Hamilton didn't even think it was going to be a hard catch at first.
"I actually thought it was a routine popup to be honest with you," Hamilton said. "It was to the point where I'm not going to make it to the warning track. The way Carpenter hit the ball, it backspins. It kept carrying and carrying. By the time I made my second turn, I was on the warning track. I looked up again and made another turn and I was like 'OK, the wall is right here. Let's try to make a play.' It happened to be right on time. It gave me enough to actually get up on the wall and bounce myself up."
Though amazing, awe-astounding and catch-of-the-year worthy, it was just one amazing grab in a season already filled with them. So, let's look at a few more times that Hamilton made our jaw drop.
1. The 2 percenter
When Francisco Cervelli laced a liner to right-center, Hamilton ran nearly 31 ft/sec to seemingly scoop this ball out of the dirt. Hamilton needed every second to make this snag, looking every bit like he was saving a priceless Faberge egg right before it crashed to the ground during a high school party:
2. 96 odd feet of grunts
OK, so here's the thing: Hamilton catches often don't look all that impressive. If you're not following closely, you'll see a guy running the last few steps for the out -- much like any other outfielder. But most outfielders don't run 96 feet to make the catch standing up.
3. The Human Sunglasses
Some teams are opting to use a four-man outfield when pull-happy sluggers step to the plate. The Reds could arguably field a one-man outfield. When Scott Schebler, standing in right field, lost the ball in the sun, Hamilton raced over to make the play.
4. Mr. All-Around
Sometimes Hamilton doesn't make the catch. I know, shocking. So, in this rare situation, the Reds center fielder made up for it with two assists. Naturally, because this is Hamilton we're talking about, he made two more nice grabs on the warning track:
5. The slip 'n slide
I don't even know how he managed to get his glove under the baseball before belly-flopping on the outfield grass:
6. The hang time
Do me a favor: Pause this video when the ball is in mid-air and ask yourself: Does this look like an out? You can watch a dying liner like this roughly a thousand times and it will probably drop in for a hit in most of them. Many times, it would even roll to the wall for extra bases.
In this version, Hamilton ran it down and, like an NFL wide receiver, had to worry about making sure he held on when he crashed back to earth.