Friday, August 14, 2009

Does someone hit for the cycle everyday?

Doesn't it seem like every day someone has hit for the cycle this year?

Felix Pie, the one time Cubs phenom who I just assumed would be just another Sil Campusano like overhyped outfielders, is the latest to do the trick.

He's the seventh who did it this year. He's the third to do it this month (along with Troy Tulowitzki and Melky Cabrera.)

Why doesn't it seem like a bigger deal?

If there were three pitchers who threw a no hitter in a month, I'd remember it.

And hitting for the cycle is kind of the hitter's answer to the no hitter.

Since 1882, when Chester Alan Arthur was President, there have been 287 major league games where a someone hit for the cycle.

That's almost as rare as a 9 inning no hitter (there have been 263 of those.)

There have been whole seasons where nobody hits for the cycle.

And yet for me at least the memory of those who accomplish the feat fade from memory.

I never forget no hitters. You can mention just about any no hitter in my lifetime and I have some vague memory of it. And I always associate pitchers with their no hitters.

Clay Buchholz? He still is defined by it.
Mark Buehrle? He's got two of those babies now and I still can't remember if it is B-U-E or B-E-U.

Even some of the obscure ones like Bud Smith, and Eric Milton throwing to the Angel's B lineup, or Joe Cowley or Juan Nieves still bring back specific memories.

Al Leiter's no hitter is fresh in my mind, but mainly because MLB Network always shows the clip of it as if it is the greatest baseball moment since Bobby Thomson's home run!

Heck, I even remember the no hitters that don't count! Like Harvey Haddix's extra inning masterpiece... or Pedro Martinez letting up a hit in the 10th... or Andy Hawkins losing a game even though he let up no hits!

And yet I look at a list of players hitting for the cycle... and I barely remember them.

Mark Kotsay did it? Really? Last year before joining the Red Sox?

Why does that not jolt a memory?

Fred Lewis did it? I was living in the Bay Area when he did that. 
Eric Valent? Brad Wilkerson did it twice?

Did you remember A-Rod did? I didn't!
Shouldn't that be like a Hall of Fame pitcher cementing his legacy?

Dave Winfield did it... as an Angel!
I forgot Dave Winfield even PLAYED for the Angels.

Freddie Lynn, Dwight Evans, Rich Gedman, Mike Greenwell and Scott Cooper all hit for the cycle as members of the Red Sox.

As of 2 minutes ago, those facts were not known to me... and I am an obsessive Red Sox fan.

Hall of Famers like Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Goose Goslin, Joe DiMaggio, Rod Carew and Willie Stargell all did.

Willie Mays didn't.

Future Red Sox bench warmer Jack Brohamer did.

That's right, there is something on Jack Brohamer's resume that isn't on Willie Mays'.

Or Hank Aaron's.

And nothing will change.

We'll remember the no hitters more and guys who hit for the cycle will be forgotten. It's not fair... but neither was the Don Denkinger call. 

I do know this: In 3 years I will be saying "Felix Pie hit for the cycle? Really? Why don't I remember that?"


  1. Seven cycles this year does seem crazy... you know why I think they aren't remembered very much? Because they are usually obtained in one-sided games... Tulo's Rockies won easy, as did Pie's Orioles....

    there is a cycle that I remember as an A's fan though, by Mark Ellis...which happened in extra innings...but should that still count?