Wait, didn’t we just do this?
Before the ink was dry on me writing that no one in baseball hits for the cycle like the Rangers, they up and hit for another cycle.
On July 21 Shin-Soo Choo and then – faster than you can say Déjà vu – Adrian Beltre smacked a single-double-triple-homer in Monday night’s win over the Astros.
Again, this is just one of those quirky baseball stats that defy logic, explanation and even sabermetrics. Since 2009 the Rangers have hit for six cycles, three more than any other team.
A cycle is always impressive. And historic. But, let’s face it, some are better than others. The Rangers now have nine in their history, so let’s rank ‘em:
9. Shin-Soo Choo, 2015 – In the midst of another underwhelming season with the Rangers, he pulled off the hardest feat to complete his cycle: A 9th-inning triple at Coors Field.
8. Alex Rios, 2013 – If there is such thing as a boring cycle, this was it. Rios hit for the cycle by the 6th inning of an otherwise yawner of a 12-0 win over the Astros.
7. Adrian Beltre, 2012 – His first cycle with the Rangers completed a dynamic, historic week in which he earlier produced a three-homer game.
6. Mark Teixeira, 2004 – Nothing too magical about the switch-hitter’s cycle, except that it started with hits off Cliff Lee and featured two hits from both the left and right sides of the batter’s box.
5. Gary Matthews, Jr., 2006 – Not only did he produce a “natural” cycle with his four hits coming in ascending order, the single, double and triple came off Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander.
4. Oddibe McDowell, 1985 – They say your first will always be special. True that. I was among the announced crowd of 8,985 at old Arlington Stadium when the center fielder hit for the first cycle in franchise history. When he homered in the 8th, I remember reacting as if the Rangers had just won the World Series.
3. Ian Kinsler, 2009 – A cycle is rare. But how about two additional hits in the same game? The 2nd baseman went 6-for-6 in a romp over the Orioles, becoming the first player since 1900 to have six hits in a cycle.
2. Bengie Molina, 2010 – If the Rangers play baseball for another 43 years there will not be a more unlikely feat than what the burly catcher accomplished at Fenway Park. A single, double and homer for Molina? Of course. But a triple? For one of baseball’s all-time slowest runners? Still can’t believe he pounded a ball into deep center field and was able to casually jog into third base to complete his cycle.
1. Adrian Beltre, 2015 – Maybe it’s a lifetime achievement award, sure. Beltre’s cycle Monday night was his third. The last player to have three in a career was some dude named Babe Herman back in 1933. Adding to Beltre’s feat was the fact that he completed the cycle in his first four at-bats and by the end of the 5th inning. Lastly, the Rangers needed all his production in an important 12-9 win over the AL West division leaders.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.