What Is the Cycle in Baseball?

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St. Louis Cardinals' Nolan Arenado celebrates after hitting a three-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, in St. Louis.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Rachael Millanta @rachaelmillanta Aug 10, 2022, 12:25 PM
  • A player completes the cycle if they hit a single, a double, a triple, and a home run in the same game.
  • A natural cycle occurs when a player records these hits in the listed order.
  • As of August 10, 2022, 339 players in MLB history have hit for the cycle.

If you asked any MLB player about their ultimate career goal, I’d be prepared to bet that most, if not all, would mention reaching the baseball playoffs and winning it all in October. Everyone is looking toward the big prize, but baseball is much more than a game leading to one final series. 

Incredible players often find themselves in the MLB history books for achieving seemingly impossible feats, though few are as rare and impressive as having hit for the cycle. 

A player completes the cycle if they hit a single, double, triple, and home run in the same game. If the player records these hits in the listed order, it is known as a natural cycle, which has only been completed 14 times in modern MLB history.

MLB Players Who Have Hit for the Cycle

As of August 10, 2022, 339 players in recorded MLB history have hit for the cycle. The most recent player to complete this feat is Nolan Arenado of the St. Louis Cardinals, who hit for the cycle on July 1, 2022, against the Philadelphia Phillies. 

However, Austin Hays (Baltimore Orioles), Jared Walsh (Los Angeles Angels), Eduardo Escobar (New York Mets), and Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers) also completed this achievement during the 2022 season.

The most cycles hit in a single season is eight, which occurred first in 1933 and again in 2009, with all eight cycles hit by different players in both seasons. The most cycles hit by a single player in their career is three, which has been achieved by six players — John Reilly, Bob Meusel, Babe Herman, Adrián Beltré, Trea Turner, and Christian Yelich.

Gary Matthews Jr. of the Texas Rangers is the most recent player to hit for a natural cycle, accomplished on September 13, 2006, against the Detroit Tigers.

MLB Franchises With Most Recorded Cycles — Top 15 Teams

TEAMCYCLES ACHIEVED
Pittsburgh Pirates24
Boston Red Sox23
San Francisco Giants23
St. Louis Cardinals20
Oakland Athletics17
New York Yankees15
Minnesota Twins15
New York Mets11
Washington Nationals11
Texas Rangers 11
Chicago Cubs11
Baltimore Orioles11
Milwaukee Brewers10
Detroit Tigers10
Los Angeles Dodgers10

The Miami Marlins are the only current franchise who have never had a player hit for the cycle.

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About the Author

Rachael Millanta

Read More @rachaelmillanta

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.