Hitting for the cycle means that a player collects at least one each of a single, double, triple, and home run, all in the same game.
The cycle is a rare accomplishment in the game, having been achieved fewer than 400 times in the long history of Major League Baseball through 2022, putting it on par with the 314 no-hitters that have been recorded through 2021.
Generally speaking, cycles that are accomplished partially in extra innings are noted as such in narrative around the event and potentially in statistical compilations (with parenthetical notes about innings played), but the still “count.”
The hits in a cycle can occur in any order during the course of the game, but some specific orderings have gained at least colloquial nicknames that denote their sequence.
Among those are:
- Natural Cycle: hits attained in order of single, double, triple, home run
- Reverse Natural Cycle: hits attained in order of home run, triple, double, single
Through 2021, the youngest player to ever hit for the cycle was Mel Ott of the New York Giants, who pulled off the feat at age 20, in 1929.