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Ian Kinsler's Cycle Really Was That Amazing

There's a perennial debate about what's a more impressive feat, throwing a no-hitter or hitting for the cycle. By some statistical measures, hitting for the cycle is actually harder to pull off, but that analysis leans largely on the fact that there are so many more hitters in baseball than starting pitchers.

To put cycles into perspective, one need only look at the first week and a half of the season, a period in which two different players completed the 1B-2B-3B-HR circuit. That being said, the night Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler put in during his team's waxing of the Orioles on Wednesday night really was as historic as any we've seen in a long time.

According to a number of different statistical source (Elias Bureau, Stats LLC, pick your favorite), Kinsler is the first batter to knock out six hits without an out in a game in which he hit for the cycle since 1890, when a guy by the name of William Farmer Weaver of the Louisville Colonels (the who?) pulled off the feat. How long ago was that? Well, maybe this will put it in perspective: Kinsler was born in 1982. Weaver was born a week before President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

Two other players have hit for the cycle while gather six hits in a game, with Rondell White's six-hit cycle for the Expos in 1995 the most recent occurrence (Detroit's Bobby Veach was the other batter to pull off the feat in 1920). But White went 6-for-7 to collect his hits, in 13 innings, and Veach hit his in 12 innings. That makes Kinsler only the second player to pull off the feat in a regulation game, dating back to our friend Mr. Weaver in 1890.

Put it all together, and you get a game which may not be duplicated for, well, maybe ever. And all of that makes the achievement that much more impressive -- and notable -- regardless of where you come down on the no-hitter vs. cycle debate.

By Cameron Smith  |  April 17, 2009; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Orioles , Rangers  
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