List of Nippon Professional Baseball players to hit for the cycle

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This article is about Nippon Professional Baseball players who have hit for the cycle. For information on the accomplishment proper, see hitting for the cycle.
Fumio Fujimura wearing a white pinstriped old-style baseball uniform and swinging a baseball bat
Fumio Fujimura was the first player in Nippon Professional Baseball history to hit for the cycle and also the first to hit multiple cycles.

In baseball, completing the cycle is the accomplishment of hitting a single, a double, a triple, and a home run in the same game.[1] Collecting the hits in that order is known as a "natural cycle", which has occurred five times in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).[2] The cycle itself is rare in NPB, occurring 66 times since Fumio Fujimura's first cycle during the single league era in 1948. In terms of frequency, the cycle is roughly as common as a no-hitter (89 occurrences in NPB history); Baseball Digest calls it "one of the rarest feats in baseball".[3] Hitting for the cycle was not recognized in Japanese professional baseball until former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Daryl Spencer made a remark about it after hitting for the cycle with the Hankyu Braves in 1965.[4] Of the 12 current NPB teams, only the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles have never had at least one player hit for the cycle.[5]

The most cycles hit by a player in Nippon Professional Baseball is three, accomplished by Bobby Rose. Playing for the Yokohama BayStars, Rose hit his first cycle on May 2, 1995, the next on April 29, 1997, and his final cycle on June 30, 1999. Other than Rose, only two other NPB players have hit multiple cycles: Fumio Fujimura with the Osaka Tigers and Hiromi Matsunaga with the Hankyu/Orix Braves, both with two. Fujimura is also the only player to have hit a cycle during both the single league era and the current dual league era.[5] The 2003 NPB season saw the most cycles hit in a single season—five.[5] That season also saw the only instance of cycles occurring in two different games on the same day: on July 1, hit by Atsunori Inaba of the Yakult Swallows and Arihito Muramatsu of the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks.[6] The next day, Shinjiro Hiyama became the third player to hit for the cycle in two days.[7] Conversely, the longest period of time between two players hitting for the cycle is currently ongoing. At over 5 years, the drought has lasted from Michihiro Ogasawara's cycle in 2008 until today.[5]

No player has ever hit a cycle in both the Central and Pacific Leagues; however, after Alex Ochoa hit his cycle with the Chunichi Dragons on April 13, 2004, he became the only player to hit a cycle in both MLB and NPB. Ochoa hit his first and only cycle in the MLB eight years prior on July 3, 1996, while playing for the New York Mets.[8] Yakult Swallows catcher Atsuya Furuta is the only player to hit for the cycle in an NPB All-Star game, hitting one in game 2 of the 1992 series.[9] Furuta's cycle is not considered an official NPB cycle as it occurred during an exhibition game.[5] Inaba is the only player to hit for the cycle in a rain-shortened game. After hitting a triple in the first inning and hitting a home run in the fourth, Inaba collected the other two necessary hits in a seven-run fifth inning when the order batted around.[6] Kosuke Fukudome is the only player to have hit a grand slam as the home run of the cycle.[10]

Cycles by player[edit]

Hiroshi Ohshita wearing a dark old-style baseball uniform resting a baseball bat on his left shoulder
Hiroshi Ohshita's cycle was the first to be completed with a walk-off home run in Nippon Professional Baseball history.
Tetsuharu Kawakami wearing a white old-style baseball uniform and holding a baseball bat over his shoulder
Tetsuharu Kawakami hit the first cycle in Yomiuri Giants' franchise history.
Arihito Muramatsu wearing a black baseball uniform with "SoftBank" across the chest in white script standing and holding a baseball bat
Arihito Muramatsu is one of only five players to hit for a natural cycle in Nippon Professional Baseball history.
Alex Ochoa wearing a white and red pinstriped baseball uniform with "Carp" across the chest in red script
Alex Ochoa is the only player to hit a cycle in both Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball.
Michihiro Ogasawara wearing a gray baseball uniform and black baseball helmet running and dropping a baseball bat
Michihiro Ogasawara is the most recent player to hit for the cycle in Nippon Professional Baseball, doing so in 2008.
Key to symbols in player table
HOF
Inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
*
Denotes a natural cycle
(x)
Number of cycles recorded to that point (if the player recorded more than one)
Nippon Professional Baseball players who have hit for the cycle, the date of its occurrence, team, league, and opponent
Player Date Team League Opponent Ref
Fujimura, FumioFumio FujimuraHOF (1) October 2, 1948 Osaka Tigers Japanese Baseball League Kinsei Stars [5]
Kaneda, MasayasuMasayasu Kaneda April 16, 1949 Osaka Tigers Japanese Baseball League Nankai Hawks [5]
Fujimura, FumioFumio FujimuraHOF* (2) May 25, 1950 Osaka Tigers Central League Hiroshima Carp [5]
Monzen, MasatoMasato Monzen June 27, 1950 Taiyo Whales Central League Chunichi Dragons [5]
Higashitani, NatsukiNatsuki Higashitani April 13, 1952 Hankyu Braves Pacific League Mainichi Orions [5]
Asahara, NaotoNaoto Asahara April 20, 1952 Tokyu Flyers Pacific League Kintetsu Pearls [5]
Takita, MasaharuMasaharu Takita June 22, 1952 Daiei Stars Pacific League Tokyu Flyers [5]
Yamakawa, TakenoriTakenori Yamakawa June 26, 1952 Hiroshima Carp Central League Kokutetsu Swallows [5]
Aota, NoboruNoboru AotaHOF April 23, 1953 Taiyo Shochiku Robins Central League Yomiuri Giants [5]
Harada, TokumitsuTokumitsu Harada August 17, 1953 Nagoya Dragons Central League Yomiuri Giants [5]
Ohshita, HiroshiHiroshi OhshitaHOF July 15, 1954 Nishitetsu Lions Pacific League Hankyu Braves [5]
Kawakami, TetsuharuTetsuharu KawakamiHOF July 25, 1954 Yomiuri Giants Central League Hiroshima Carp [5]
Iida, TokujiTokuji IidaHOF August 24, 1955 Nankai Hawks Pacific League Tombo Unions [5]
Busujima, ShoichiShoichi Busujima June 23, 1957 Toei Flyers Pacific League Kintetsu Pearls [5]
Watanabe, KiyoshiKiyoshi Watanabe July 19, 1957 Hankyu Braves Pacific League Kintetsu Pearls [5]
Katsuragi, TakaoTakao Katsuragi August 27, 1957 Mainichi Orions Pacific League Nankai Hawks [5]
Owada, AkiraAkira Owada June 20, 1959 Hiroshima Carp Central League Taiyo Whales [5]
Machida, YukihikoYukihiko Machida July 26, 1959 Kokutetsu Swallows Central League Chunichi Dragons [5]
Obuchi, TaisukeTaisuke Obuchi August 6, 1960 Nishitetsu Lions Pacific League Toei Flyers [5]
Harimoto, IsaoIsao HarimotoHOF May 7, 1961 Toei Flyers Pacific League Kintetsu Buffalo [5]
Kondo, KazuhikoKazuhiko Kondo* July 8, 1961 Taiyo Whales Central League Hanshin Tigers [5]
Maeda, MasuhoMasuho Maeda September 16, 1962 Chunichi Dragons Central League Taiyo Whales [5]
Oh, SadaharuSadaharu OhHOF April 25, 1963 Yomiuri Giants Central League Hanshin Tigers [5]
Spencer, DarylDaryl Spencer July 16, 1965 Hankyu Braves Pacific League Kintetsu Buffaloes [5]
Wada, HiromiHiromi Wada May 28, 1968 Nishitetsu Lions Pacific League Nankai Hawks [5]
Yamazaki, HiroyukiHiroyuki Yamazaki August 14, 1971 Lotte Orions Pacific League Toei Flyers [5]
Hirota, SumioSumio Hirota July 11, 1973 Lotte Orions Pacific League Nittaku Home Flyers [5]
Tokutsu, TakahiroTakahiro Tokutsu* April 17, 1976 Lotte Orions Pacific League Taiheiyo Club Lions [5]
Kinugasa, SachioSachio KinugasaHOF July 7, 1976 Hiroshima Toyo Carp Central League Yomiuri Giants [5]
Wakamatsu, TsutomuTsutomu WakamatsuHOF July 9, 1976 Yakult Swallows Central League Chunichi Dragons [5]
Nagasaki, KeiichiKeiichi Nagasaki May 20, 1978 Yokohama Taiyo Whales Central League Hanshin Tigers [5]
Mayumi, AkinobuAkinobu Mayumi May 20, 1979 Hanshin Tigers Central League Chunichi Dragons [5]
Hirano, MitsuyasuMitsuyasu Hirano July 17, 1980 Kintetsu Buffaloes Pacific League Hankyu Braves [5]
Omiya, TatsuoTatsuo Omiya July 29, 1980 Nippon-Ham Fighters Pacific League Nankai Hawks [5]
Fukumoto, YutakaYutaka FukumotoHOF May 21, 1981 Hankyu Braves Pacific League Seibu Lions [5]
Matsunaga, HiromiHiromi Matsunaga (1) October 8, 1982 Hankyu Braves Pacific League Nankai Hawks [5]
Yamamoto, KojiKoji YamamotoHOF April 30, 1983 Hiroshima Toyo Carp Central League Hanshin Tigers [5]
Kurihashi, ShigeruShigeru Kurihashi May 21, 1985 Kintetsu Buffaloes Pacific League Nankai Hawks [5]
Okamura, TakanoriTakanori Okamura* May 22, 1985 Seibu Lions Pacific League Lotte Orions [5]
Kanemura, YoshiakiYoshiaki Kanemura July 17, 1986 Kintetsu Buffaloes Pacific League Hankyu Braves [5]
Akiyama, KojiKoji Akiyama July 13, 1989 Seibu Lions Pacific League Kintetsu Buffaloes [5]
Tamura, FujioFujio Tamura October 1, 1989 Nippon-Ham Fighters Pacific League Fukuoka Daiei Hawks [5]
Fujimoto, HiroshiHiroshi Fujimoto July 7, 1990 Fukuoka Daiei Hawks Pacific League Nippon-Ham Fighters [5]
Ikeyama, TakahiroTakahiro Ikeyama August 23, 1990 Yakult Swallows Central League Chunichi Dragons [5]
Matsunaga, HiromiHiromi Matsunaga (2) May 24, 1991 Orix Braves Pacific League Lotte Orions [5]
Howell, JackJack Howell July 29, 1992 Yakult Swallows Central League Chunichi Dragons [5]
Nakamura, NorihiroNorihiro Nakamura September 18, 1994 Kintetsu Buffaloes Pacific League Nippon-Ham Fighters [5]
Rose, BobbyBobby Rose (1) May 2, 1995 Yokohama BayStars Central League Chunichi Dragons [5]
Rose, BobbyBobby Rose (2) April 29, 1997 Yokohama BayStars Central League Yakult Swallows [5]
Tatsunami, KazuyoshiKazuyoshi Tatsunami August 22, 1997 Chunichi Dragons Central League Hanshin Tigers [5]
Hirosawa, KatsumiKatsumi Hirosawa September 26, 1997 Yomiuri Giants Central League Chunichi Dragons [5]
Kanemoto, TomoakiTomoaki Kanemoto April 24, 1999 Hiroshima Toyo Carp Central League Chunichi Dragons [5]
Nishi, ToshihisaToshihisa Nishi June 25, 1999 Yomiuri Giants Central League Hiroshima Toyo Carp [5]
Rose, BobbyBobby Rose (3) June 30, 1999 Yokohama BayStars Central League Hiroshima Toyo Carp [5]
Matsui, KazuoKazuo Matsui June 7, 2000 Seibu Lions Pacific League Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes [11]
Rodriguez, BoiBoi Rodriguez July 27, 2002 Yokohama BayStars Central League Hiroshima Toyo Carp [12]
Ibata, HirokazuHirokazu Ibata September 21, 2002 Chunichi Dragons Central League Yokohama BayStars [13]
Ortiz, JoséJosé Ortiz May 3, 2003 Orix BlueWave Pacific League Seibu Lions [5]
Fukudome, KosukeKosuke Fukudome June 8, 2003 Chunichi Dragons Central League Hiroshima Toyo Carp [5]
Inaba, AtsunoriAtsunori Inaba July 1, 2003 Yakult Swallows Central League Yokohama BayStars [6]
Muramatsu, ArihitoArihito Muramatsu* July 1, 2003 Fukuoka Daiei Hawks Pacific League Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes [6]
Hiyama, ShinjiroShinjiro Hiyama July 2, 2003 Hanshin Tigers Central League Chunichi Dragons [7]
Hosokawa, ToruToru Hosokawa April 4, 2004 Seibu Lions Pacific League Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters [14]
Ochoa, AlexAlex Ochoa April 13, 2004 Chunichi Dragons Central League Yomiuri Giants [8]
Zuleta, JulioJulio Zuleta September 22, 2007 Chiba Lotte Marines Pacific League Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles [15]
Ogasawara, MichihiroMichihiro Ogasawara September 3, 2008 Yomiuri Giants Central League Hiroshima Toyo Carp [16]

Cycles by franchise[edit]

List of franchises, showing NPB-active dates and numbers of cycles achieved and allowed
Franchise Active dates Cycles hit Cycles allowed
Taiyo Shochiku Robins / Yosho Robins / Taiyo Whales / Yokohama Taiyo Whales / Yokohama BayStars / Yokohama DeNA BayStars 1950–present 8 4
Hankyu Baseball Club / Hankyu Bears / Hankyu Braves / Orix Braves / Orix BlueWave / Orix Buffaloes 1936–present 7 3
Nishitetsu Clippers / Nishitetsu Lions / Taiheiyo Club Lions / Crown Lighter Lions / Seibu Lions / Saitama Seibu Lions 1950–present 7 3
Nagoya Baseball Club / Sangyo Baseball Club / Chubu Nippon / Chubu Nippon Dragons / Nagoya Dragons / Chunichi Dragons 1936–present 6 10
Kokutetsu Swallows / Sankei Swallows / Sankei Atoms / Atoms / Yakult Atoms / Yakult Swallows / Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1950–present 5 2
Mainichi Orions / Mainichi Daimai Orions / Tokyo Orions / Lotte Orions / Chiba Lotte Marines 1950–present 5 3
Dai-Nippon Tōkyō Yakyū Club / Tokyo Kyojin / Yomiuri Giants 1934–present 5 4
Hanshin Baseball Club / Osaka Tigers / Hanshin Tigers 1936–present 5 5
Senators / Kyuei Flyers / Tokyu Flyers / Toei Flyers / Nittaku Home Flyers / Nippon-Ham Fighters / Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 1946–present 5 7
Hiroshima Carp / Hiroshima Toyo Carp 1950–present 5 7
Kintetsu Pearls / Kintetsu Buffalo / Kintetsu Buffaloes / Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes 1950–2004 4 8
Nankai Baseball Club / Kinki Nippon Baseball Club / Great Ring / Nankai Hawks / Fukuoka Daiei Hawks / Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 1938–present 3 7
Gold Star / Kinsei Stars / Daiei Stars / Daiei Unions 1946–1957 1 1
Tombo Unions / Takahashi Unions 1954–1956 0 1
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 2005–present 0 1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
Inline citations
  1. ^ Dickson, Paul (1999). The new Dickson baseball dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 250. ISBN 0-15-600580-8. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Hitting for the Cycle Records". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ McMurray, John (August 2005). "Brad Wilkerson: A Versatile Performer for the Nationals". Baseball Digest (Lakeside) 64 (6): 32. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ "【7月16日】1965年(昭40) 荒々しい“野球博士”が教えてくれた貴重な記録" [(July 16, 1965) The valuable record that gruff "Dr. Baseball" taught]. Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). Sports Nippon Corporation. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi "過去のサイクル安打" [Past Cycles Hit]. Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). Sports Nippon Corporation. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Inaba, Muramatsu both hit for the cycle". The Japan Times. July 2, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Hiyama follows suit; hits for cycle as Tigers slay Dragons". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. July 3, 2003. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Graczyk, Wayne (September 2, 2004). "Dragons hoping Ochoa's lucky No. 4 can bring them success". The Japan Times. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  9. ^ "1992年度サンヨーオールスターゲーム 試合結果(第2戦)" [1992 Sanyo All-Star Game Results (Game 2)] (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  10. ^ "【6月8日】2003年(平15) 記録ラッシュ 井口忠仁は49年ぶり 福留孝介は46年ぶり". Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). Sports Nippon Corporation. June 8, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Lions' 'little' Matsui has big night at plate". The Japan Times. July 8, 2000. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Rodriguez hits for the cycle in BayStars' loss to Hiroshima". The Japan Times. July 28, 2002. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Tigers say 'sayonara' to Carp". The Japan Times. September 23, 2002. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Lions catcher Hosokawa rides the cycle". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. April 5, 2004. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Zuleta hits for cycle to lead Marines past Eagles". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. September 23, 2007. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Yokohama home runs tame struggling Tigers". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. September 4, 2008. Retrieved November 23, 2013.