2 baseball questions

Has anyone ever hit a “cycle” of home runs (a one, two, three, and four run homers) in a single professional baseball game? Also, which happens more rarely - triple plays or hitting for the cycle?

Cycle of home runs.

I doubt it. Only a handful of players ever hit four homers in a game to begin with. While I can’t guarantee that no one from that group hit one of each type homer in a game, the odds are well against it.

Triple Plays, hitting for the cycle

(Assisted) Triple plays happen more often. Most teams have at least one per season. Hitting for the cycle is far more rare.

Zev Steinhardt

  1. Can’t say about #1, but it hasn’t been done in the majors for sure.

  2. Triple plays happen much more frequently than hitting for the cycle. There have been more no-hitters than people who have hit for the cycle. Unfortunately, I don’t know the exact figures, but there will be at least 3 triple plays every year, but not necessarily will anyone hit for the cycle in one season.

Of course unassisted triple plays happen much less frequently than hitting for the cycle.

I wish I had hard facts, but all I can offer is educated conjecture:

  1. I seriously doubt anyone has hit for the HR cycle in the majors. It may have been done in the minors, and almost certainly in college ball. 4 HR games in the majors are exceedingly rare - you get maybe 2-3 in a decade - so the odds of those rare 4 HRs just so happening to fall in as 1, 2, 3 & 4 RBIs are pretty slim.

  2. Triple plays vs. hitting for the cycle? I think triple plays are more common - it happens maybe a half-dozen times a season. Hitting for the cycle occurs maybe once or twice a season.

A home run cycle would be 10 RBI’s in 1 game, and that’s only been done once. Fred Lynn did not hit 4 HR’s in that game.

Could have happened at some other level, though, especially with aluminum bats and crummy pitchers.

Last year there were 5 triple plays in the major leagues.

On July 6, Luis Gonzales became the 5th player to hit for the cycle. So it took roughly half the number of games to reach the same number of triple plays.

Looks like hitting for the cycle is more common.

1 - Twelve players have hit four HRs in a game. I couldn’t find a definate answer, but I highly doubt anyone hit for the “HR Cycle.” If someone had, I know I would have read something about it at somepoint.

For the record, four players hit their home runs in consecutive at bats. Three players needed extra innings.

2 - Yeah. Triple plays are more common than players hitting for the (regular) cycle. Not by a lot, but they are more common.

To actually add something to the thread… as someone else mentioned, the real rarity is the unassisted triple play. To date, only 11 have been pulled off.

Interestingly, two occurred on back to back days in May, 1927.

How rare are they? After the triple plays in 1927, it wasn’t done again until 1968, and then not again until 1992.

An unassisted triple play was performed against my beloved Mariners in 1994. I was listening to the game while working in a convenience store at the time. I picked up on what had happened rather quickly and started yelling to a co-worker about it. Nobody else in the store seemed to care. Fools.

A player for Oakland did it last year. No explanation of just how rare the play is could get my then girlfriend to care. God knows where here priorities are.

Homering for the cycle would indeed involve 10 RBIs, but three players have had more than 10 RBIs in one game. Tony Lazzeri had 11 in a game in 1936 and Jim Bottomley and Mark Whiten each had 12 RBI games in 1924 and 1993 respectively.

Whiten hit four home runs in his game, while Lazzeri had two grand slams.

I would also not put too much weight into RealityChuck’s analogy about the number of cycles versus triple plays based on one year of data.

Hitting for the cycle is still a relatively rare feat. The most by any team in its history is 20 by the Red Sox and the Pirates. The most any team ever made in a season was 3 by the Athletics in 1933.

I would contend that there have been many more seasons when no one hits for the cycle than seasons where there were no triple plays.


Start sending her threatening letters signed “Bill Wambganss.” That’ll make her sit up and take an interest.

I’m pretty sure that Nomar had a 10 RBI game, either last year or the year before.

With the way baseball is now (and the way it’s becoming more and more an offensive-oriented game), I’d say the cycle is more likely than a triple play these days.

Ivan- that game against the Mariners in '94. Was that versus Boston? I was at that game (one of the best I’ve ever been to) and it was the only time I’ve been to Fenway. Guess what happened? One second, there’s men on base no out. I turn away for a moment, hear the crack of the bat, and by the time I turn around, there’s an enormous cheer and the Sox are trotting back toward the dugout. I turn to the guy next to me: “What happened?” and he greets me with the don’t-tell-me-you-missed-that face. Yep. An unassisted triple play and I was looking the other way. Crap.

Nomar Garciaparra did have a game with 2 grand slams back in 1999, so he most likely would have had 10 RBI that night.

In 1999, Garciaparra hit two grand slams in a game and Fernando Tatis hit two slams in one inning.

While you’re all checking, has anyone ever hit for the cycle including an inside-the-park home run?

pulykamell - Yeah, it was a game against Boston. Ouch. Missing something like that would stick with me for a long long time.

If it’s any consolation, I was in a restroom at the Kingdome whilst McGwire was busy hitting the longest HR in Kingdome history off Randy Johnson. I think they estimated it at 538 ft.

Wow, and I thought Minnie Minoso had a long career!

The first recorded instance of a player hitting for the cycle was Charles Foley of Buffalo in 1882. There were several instances of players hitting for the cycle in the 19th century and it’s likely that one of them hit an inside-the-park home run as those home runs were common then.

Its not a professional game so it doesn’t satisfy the OP, but Marshall McDougall of Florida State hit the home run cycle as part of his 6 home runs in a game in '99. He had a solo shot, a 2-run shot, 3 3-run homers, and a grand slam. He finished the day 7 for 7 with a walk. He drove in 16 runs.

Also for a slight hijack (sorry), I think the whole concept of a cycle is overrated. For example, McDougall’s game didn’t include a traditional cycle, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as impressive if it had. A cycle is tough, but it is just as much luck as anything in my opinion.

Fernando Tatis’ feat was remarkable for several reasons. He did them in the same inning, I believe from both sides of the plate, and most remarkably, he hit them off the same pitcher.

Just one point of clarification for Oblong. If he did, in fact, hit them off of the same pitcher, then it’s highly doubtful that he would have done it from opposite sides of the plate. Switch-hitters hit right-handed against a left-handed pitcher, and vice versa. Unless the pitcher switched hands, I’d say with almost certainty that Tatis hit them from the same side of the plate.

Then again, maybe he actually thought in midgame about making history and opted to switch sides just on the off chance he would hit another grand slam; I would wager not, though.

JD Drew, now with the St. Louis Cardinals, hit a home-run cycle (for wont of a better choice of words) a year or two ago when he was in the minor leagues.