Home » Hitting for the Cycle in Baseball: A Rare and Exciting Feat

Hitting for the Cycle in Baseball: A Rare and Exciting Feat

what's a cycle in baseball

In baseball, the term “cycle” refers to a batter’s notable achievement of hitting a single, double, triple, and home run all within the same game. Accomplishing a cycle is a testament to a player’s batting skill and versatility, combining power and precision with speed and timing. Given the variety of hits required and the unpredictability of opportunities at bat, completing a cycle is rare, adding to the excitement when it does happen.

Detailed Explanation of the Baseball Cycle:

The cycle can occur in any order but must comprise the following four distinct types of hits:

  1. Single: The most familiar hit, where the batter safely reaches first base without the benefit of an error or fielder’s choice.
  2. Double: A hit allowing the batter to reach second base safely without being tagged out or due to a fielding error.
  3. Triple: A well-executed play where the batter reaches third base on a hit, requiring power and speed.
  4. Home Run: The hit that ensures the batter can round all bases and score a run without being put out or with the aid of an error.

The cycle is uncommon partly because triples are much less frequent than other hits. They often require a combination of excellent batting to find the right part of the field and speedy baserunning to safely reach third base.

Historical Examples of Players Who Have Hit for the Cycle:

Several notable players have achieved this baseball milestone:

  • John Reilly (Cincinnati Reds, 1883): Not only did Reilly hit for the cycle this year, but he also is one of the rare players to have done it three times in his career.
  • Babe Herman (Brooklyn Dodgers, 1931): Known for his hitting prowess, he hit for the cycle thrice in his career.
  • Bob Meusel (New York Yankees, 1921): Meusel hit the cycle three times, an outstanding feat, especially considering the caliber of play during the early 20th century.
  • Tony Gwynn (San Diego Padres, 1993): Gwynn, renowned for his batting skills, added a cycle to his extraordinary list of achievements.
  • Carlos Gomez (Minnesota Twins, 2008): Gomez showed off his speed and power by hitting for the cycle early in his career.
  • Cody Bellinger (Los Angeles Dodgers, 2017): In his sensational rookie year, Bellinger marked his prowess with a cycle, among many other accolades.
  • Trea Turner (Washington Nationals, 2017): Demonstrating his well-rounded offensive skills, Turner secured his place in the Nationals’ history by hitting for the cycle.
  • Brock Holt (Boston Red Sox, 2018): The versatile player etched his name into Red Sox lore with a cycle, exemplifying the team’s depth.


Q: How often does hitting for the cycle occur in Major League Baseball (MLB)?

A: Hitting for the cycle is a rare event in MLB. On average, it occurs a few times each season, but this can vary from year to year.

Q: Why is hitting a triple considered the most challenging part of completing the cycle?

A: Triples are infrequent because they require the ball to be hit to a part of the field that allows the batter enough time to reach third base. This often necessitates excellent hitting to find the gaps and significant speed from the batter.

Q: Has anyone hit for the cycle in the postseason?

A: Yes, players have been hitting for the cycle during postseason games, though it’s even rarer than during the regular season due to the increased pressure and level of competition.

Q: Are players who hit for the cycle typically power hitters or speedsters?

A: Players who achieve the cycle can come from either background. Power hitters are likelier to get the necessary home run, while speedsters can quickly secure triples. The cycle requires a blend of both skills, alongside strategic hitting for singles and doubles.

Q: Can a player hit for the cycle more than once in their career?

A: Several players have hit the cycle multiple times in their careers, as noted in the historical examples. However, it remains an exceptional accomplishment each time.


Hitting for the cycle is an extraordinary personal achievement and an electrifying event for fans to witness. It emphasizes a batter’s ability to display different aspects of hitting excellence and contributes to the rich tapestry of baseball history. It remains one of the game’s most challenging and thrilling accomplishments to both achieve and observe.

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