"Obviously the hill is a component we're not used to," said Fuld, following the A's 2-1 win over the Astros. "You try to get as much work during batting practice here as you can, but there's no guarantee somebody is going to hit the ball 425 feet to center, even in BP."
Astros outfielder George Springer sent one out there to lead off the eighth in a one-run game, and Fuld, relying on his instincts, raced back and up the hill, snagging the ball against the wall to rob his opponent of extra bases.
A's reliever Evan Scribner, standing on the mound, put his hands up in disbelief.
"I was like, 'Oh, my God!" said Scribner. "I thought it was a homer right when he hit it. Then I thought, 'Maybe not, but it's up on the hill,' and I've seen so many guys, once they hit the hill, they fall over. Sammy was working on that during BP. I saw him out there running up the hill making catches."
"I felt like I had a good chance on it," said Fuld. "I was playing on the deeper side and felt like if it stayed in the ballpark, I was confident I'd get it."
A's manager Bob Melvin wasn't as confident.
"Amazing, because when he hit it, I didn't think he had a chance at it," said Melvin. "Now you've got to dodge the hill and a water hazard and a sand trap and everything else out there to catch it and hang on to it. You're not going to see too many better plays than that, with the obstacles and certainly the magnitude of where we were in that game."
Statcast™ reveals Fuld took his first step .178 seconds after the ball hit Springer's bat. He proceeded to cover 94 feet before it landed in his glove.
"That's tough," said Springer. "That's obviously a hell of a play by Fuld. You just have to tip your hat to him. I was just trying to get on base and was able to hit one well, and he made a good play."