MLB: 6 Facts About Hitting the Cycle, One of Baseball’s Rarest Feats

Hitting the cycle is one of the most impressive feats in baseball. To complete a cycle, a player must record a single, a double, a triple, and a home run all in the same game. On Tuesday night, Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner recorded the 328th cycle in MLB history against the Colorado Rockies. It was the second cycle of Turner’s career.

Trea Turner’s first cycle on April 25, 2017, also came against the Rockies, making Turner just the third player in history to hit multiple cycles against the same team. Here are some other interesting facts about hitting the cycle.

1. Cycles happen about as often as no-hitters do

Curry Foley of the Buffalo Bisons recorded the first verified cycle in Major League Baseball history against the Cleveland Blues back on May 25, 1882. This feat occurred six years after the first recorded no-hitter when George Bradley of the St. Louis Brown Stockings hurled a gem against the Hartford Dark Blues on July 15, 1876.

Dating all the way back to these early days of baseball before the American League was even founded, there have been 328 cycles and 301 no-hitters recorded. In the modern era (since 1901), these two feats have remained close in their frequencies as there have been 286 cycles and 258 no-hitters.

While there have been more cycles than no-hitters throughout history, it could still easily be argued that the cycle is the far rarer accomplishment. In every baseball game, there are only two opportunities for a no-hitter to be recorded; one by the road team and one by the home team. Conversely, there are nine players in each team’s starting lineup and even pinch hitters that have an opportunity to hit the cycle.

2. 34 Players have hit for the cycle multiple times

Adrian Beltre rounding the bases after a home run
Adrian Beltre rounding the bases after a home run | Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

Turner became the 34th player of all-time to hit for the cycle more than once in his career (and the 27th to do so in the modern era). John Reilly, Bob Meusel, Babe Herman, and Adrian Beltre are the only four players to ever hit for the cycle three times. Beltre hit all three of his at the Globe Life Park in Arlington; once as a visitor with the Seattle Mariners and twice for the home team as a Texas Ranger.

3. George Brett went over 11 years in between his two cycles

Hall-of-Famer George Brett recorded his first cycle against the Baltimore Orioles on May 28, 1979, as a 26-year-old. Brett hit for the cycle again on July 25, 1990, against the Toronto Blue Jays, this time as a 37-year-old veteran. The 11 years and 58 days between cycles is the longest gap in baseball history.

4. John Reilly and Tip O’Neill only needed a week

John Reilly recorded the third cycle in MLB history on September 12, 1883. He followed that up with the fourth cycle in MLB history on September 19, 1883. Tip O’Neill repeated this one-week feat in 1887, hitting for the cycle on April 30 and then again on May 7. In the modern era, Aaron Hill has the quickest time between cycles at 11 days, recording his first on June 18 and his second on June 29 in 2012.

5. Brock Holt has the only postseason cycle in MLB history

Brock Holt celebrates hitting for the cycle with a home run
Brock Holt celebrates hitting for the cycle with a home run | Photo By Christopher Evans/Digital First Media/Boston Herald via Getty Images

There have been only two no-hitters in postseason history: Don Larsen’s perfect game for the New York Yankees in Game 5 of the World Series in 1956 and Roy Halladay’s no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS.

It took until October 8, 2018 for the first cycle in playoff history to occur. Brock Holt of the Boston Red Sox accomplished the feat in a 16-1 win over the New York Yankees in the ALDS. It was the second cycle of Holt’s career.

6. Christian Yelich hit two cycles against the same team in one season

During his 2018 MLB NL MVP season last year, Christian Yelich made some cycle history. Yelich hit for the cycle against the Cincinnati Reds on August 29, and then 20 days later he hit for another cycle against the Reds on September 17. He is one of three players two have hit for two cycles against the same team, but the only one ever to do so within one season.