The cycle itself is semi-rare in MLB, having occurred 330 times since Curry Foley in 1882. The cycle is almost as frequent as a no-hitter in terms of frequency; Baseball Digest deems it "one of baseball's rarest performances."
A batter who hits for the cycle is said to have "cycled" through the lineup. A few batters include multiple cycles in their careers. George Brett has cycled more than any other player (13 times); his most recent cycle came in 2004 while playing for the Kansas City Royals. Joe DiMaggio is second with 12 cycles; he achieved the feat from 1937 to 1941 while playing for the New York Yankees. Both men are part of an exclusive group of people who have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame after only playing one sport: George Brett and Tony Gwynn are the only others.
Bobby Thomson of the Brooklyn Dodgers is considered by many to be the greatest hitter never to win the MVP Award. He hit for the cycle on October 3, 1951, when he was called up from the minor leagues to replace an injured Jackie Robinson. That year, however, the award went to Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants - perhaps most notably because of his role in bringing home the first World Series championship in N.L. history.
A "natural cycle" is the collection of hits in that sequence. Cycles are uncommon in Major League Baseball (MLB), having occurred only 332 times since Curry Foley's debut in 1882. A batter can be said to be hit by a cycle if he is put out any way other than walking; for example, if he is thrown out at home plate or as a result of a forceout.
In addition to being a rare event, a cycle is also one of the more controversial events in baseball because it involves several batters being placed in danger of being hit by a pitch. The rule was created to protect batters from being hit by pitches while running the bases, but some feel it goes too far and should not have been enacted in the first place.
There have been 331 cycles in MLB history. Only three men have ever been hit by a pair of cycles in one game: Joe Bushard in 1922, Billy Herman in 1938, and Don Denkinger in 1969. All three were left-handed hitters who batted right-handed. The only other man to have been hit by a pair of cycles on separate occasions is Fred Merkle in 1908. He was hit by Joe McGinnity of the New York Giants and Charley Jones of the Cincinnati Reds. Both pitches were fastballs.
Jake Cronenworth of the San Diego Padres completed the most recent cycle on July 16, 2021, against the Washington Nationals. It was the first in MLB history.
The current cycle began on June 25, 2019, when the Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Boston Red Sox 11-10 in 10 innings at Tropicana Field. The game marked the beginning of a four-game series between two teams that were competing for a spot in the AL Championship Series. As part of the series, former Cy Young winner David Price started for the Red Sox while Blake Snell took the mound for the Rays.
In the top of the 10th inning, with one out and the score tied at ten runs each, Price walked Tommy Pham before hitting Mike Zunino with a pitch to load the bases. Then, with two men on base and two out, Chris Sale hit a ball toward right field that dropped in front of Snell for a double play. This ended the game and ended the cycle for Price. Snell would go on to win his second game of the season that day as the Rays defeated the Red Sox 11-10 in 10 innings.
Cronenworth, Jake A "natural cycle" is the collection of hits in that sequence. He got four hits out of the cycle including a home run.
The last player to hit for the cycle before Cronenworth was Jack Doyle of the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 30, 2020. The cycle came in a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. It was not until this season that more than two cycles were recorded in a single MLB game. Previously, the highest number of cycles in a single game was three, which happened six times between 1914 and 1922.
There have been nine different players who have accomplished this rare feat over the course of MLB history. Three of them current or former Padre players contributed to the cycle: Cronenworth, Doyle, and Jason Bay. The other six players who have done so are: Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies (1977 & 1983); George Foster of the Atlanta Braves (1974 & 1975); Tony Lazzeri of the New York Yankees (1931 & 1932); Eddie Murray of the St. Louis Cardinals (1980 & 1981); Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox (1967 & 1968); and Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox (1997 & 1998).
Father and son Gary Ward (1980) and Daryle Ward (2004), as well as grandpa and grandson Gus Bell (1951) and David Bell (2004), have both hit for the cycle (2004). Joe Cronin against the Red Sox (1929) and for the Red Sox (1930) are the only two players who have hit a cycle for and against the same team (1940)....
The Miami Marlins are the only current MLB team without a player who has hit for the cycle. The cycle is approximately as unusual as a no-hitter; it has been dubbed "one of baseball's rarest and most challenging performances."
Another interesting aspect of Culberson's cycle was that it was a natural cycle. He got each hit in the following order: single, double, triple, and home run. That is more unusual than you may think; there have only been 14 natural cycles in MLB history, the most recent being Gary Matthews Jr. in 2002.
There are several factors that go into whether or not a player will have a natural cycle. First of all, there must be at least five balls put in play for the cycle to happen. Also, there can't be any out during the at-bat. If these conditions are met, then the player will usually get three hits before going down on one knee. However, this doesn't always happen; sometimes a player will hit one ball hard but not get enough calls to reach base safely. In this case, he will often be forced out by another member of the team while running toward first base (or wherever he thinks the ball went).
Overall, there have been 51 home run cycles in MLB history. The most recent happened in 2012 when David Ortiz hit one for every major league team. Before that, it had been three years since the last time something like this happened.
He got each hit in the following order: single, double, triple, and home run. That is more unusual than you may think; there have only been 14 natural cycles in MLB history, the most recent being Gary Matthews Jr. in 2006. Did you like the story?
In baseball, hitting for the cycle occurs when a batter hits a single, a double, a triple, and a home run all in the same game. A natural cycle is the collection of hits in that sequence.
Tip O'Neill became the second player in history to hit several cycles on May 7, 1887. In the Players' League, Hall of Famer Roger Connor hit his lone cycle. In 1894, Sam Thompson's triple was one of 28 he hit that year, breaking the Philadelphia Phillies' single-season franchise record.